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of a God Seeker 

Ford Johnson 

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data 

Johnson, Ford, 1942- 

Confessions of a God-Seeker: a journey to higher consciousness / Ford Johnson. 

p. cm. 
Includes bibliographical references and index. 
ISBN 0-9728835-8-4 (alk. paper) 

I. Spiritual life. 2. Eckankar (Organization) --Controversial literature. I. Title. 

BP605.E3 J645 2003 



This book is dedicated to the 
Truth Seeker 


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Contents v 

Acknowledgements xiii 

Introduction xv 


Chapter 1 — The God Seeker 3 

Who is a God Seeker? 3 

Steps Along the Way 4 

A Higher Consciousness Primer 6 

Know Thyself 7 

The Classroom of Life: How Souls Evolve 8 

Sin versus Learning 9 

Birth, Death and Reincarnation 10 

The Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) 12 

Chapter 2 — The Path of the Light and Sound of God 1 5 

When the Seeker is Ready. ... 15 

The Inner Worlds of God 1 6 

Altering A Spiritual Paradigm 1 8 

A Spiritual Traveler is Born 19 

A Life of Service 23 

Journey of the God- seeker 25 

Chapter 3 — How the Journey Started 27 

First Contact 27 

Arrival in London: The English Tour 33 

Chapter 4 — The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 35 

Preparing Graham's Journal for the Master 3 5 


In the Many Hands of God 39 

Reflections on the Journal 58 

Inner Experiences Geared to the Individual's Needs 59 

On Achieving God-Realization 60 

Why did Graham Join Eckankar? 6 1 

Implications of Contact with the Nine Silent Ones 62 


Chapter 5 — The Master Replies 67 

Harold Klemp 's Response to Me 67 

A Closer Look at the Letter 69 

Further Communications with the Mahanta 73 

TheMaster'sResponse to Graham 77 

The Importance of Inner Experiences in Eckankar 80 

The Conundrum 83 

Chapter 6 — Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 85 

Why I Looked Deeper into Eckankar 85 

Standards of Religious and Spiritual Scrutiny 88 

The Four Zoas of Eckankar 90 

The Standard of Truth 90 

Paul Twitchell and the Real History of Eckankar 9 1 

Paul Twitchell After the Break: The Idea is Bom 93 

The Creation Begins 93 

The Historical Rewrite Continues 94 

Chapter 7 — Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten 

Devices 96 

Device One: Factual and Historical Inaccuracies 96 

When Was Paul Bom ? 96 

Where Was Paul Bom ? 1 01 

The Real Paul Twitchell Revealed 1 06 

The Mysterious Paul Twitchell 11 

Device Two : A Failure of Attribution 111 

The King James Version Lives! 11 7 

The Toothless Tiger 11 7 

The Source of Eckankar Writings on the HU 119 

"In My Father 's House There Are Many Mansions " 121 

Contents vii 

In Defense of Plagiarism: the Apologists Speak 124 

The Master Compiler Theory 1 24 

The Astral Library Theory 125 

From Sow 's Ear to Silk Purse 126 

Device Three: Substitution and Association 127 
Device Four: Name Reversal, Letter Transposition, and Adoption 

— The Creation of the Vairagi Masters 135 

Device Five: Absorption of a Teaching — The Source of Structure, 

Terminology, and Practices in Eckankar 140 

Device Six: Truth by Detail 142 

Device Seven: The Techniques of Fear and Deception 145 

Device Eight: Verbal Slight of Hand 153 

Device Nine: The Many Faces of Eckankar 1 59 

Issue 1- How should the Chela view theMahanta, the Living Eck 

Master? 159 

Issue 2- Does the Eck student have the freedom to leave should 

he or she choose? 160 

Device Ten: The Land of Contradictions 163 

Paths to God 1 65 

Need For the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master 167 

Responsibility of the Individual for Spiritual Growth 1 67 

Dependence on the Master 169 

Chapters — The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 175 

The Mahanta, the Living Eck Master 175 

The Blue Light 183 

The Dream Master 1 84 

Eckankar Initiations 1 86 

Reincarnation 1 90 

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad 194 

The Spiritual Exercises of Eck and the HU 196 

Origins of the HU 1 96 

The True History of the HU 197 

The Validity of Spiritual Exercises 199 

The Principles and Precepts of Eckankar 200 


Chapter 9 — The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 203 


The Nature of Dogma 203 

The Nature of Mythomania 205 

Does the Shoe Fit? 207 

Defenders of the Faith 217 

Chapter 10 — Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 220 

The Death of Paul Twitchell 22 1 

The Darwin Gross Years (1971-1981) 223 

Harold Klemp Becomes the Living Eck Master 227 

Harold Klemp and God-Realization 228 

Darwin Retakes Control 23 1 

The Break 232 

Darwin Gross vs. Eckankar 235 

The Harold Klemp Era 241 

The Future of Eckankar and Its Membership 243 

Collaboration of Eckankar Leaders 246 

The Responsibility of a Spiritual Leader 246 

"Beware of Moloch"*^^ and Other Warnings 247 

Defending the Faith 248 

The Death of an Ideal 249 

Denial 249 

Anger 250 

Bargaining 251 

Depression 251 

Acceptance 252 

Hope 252 

Voices from the Past 252 

Chapter 11 — Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 257 

History of Sant Mat 258 

Sant Mat and the Tradition of Masters 259 

Succession Within Radhasoami Satsang Beas 260 

The Beas Line of Radhasoami Masters 262 

Experiences with the Light and Sound of God 267 

The Life and Legacy of Baba Faqir Chand 268 

ThePower of Belief 276 

Chapter 12 — Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 278 

Old Testament Controversies 279 

Contents ix 

New Testament Controversies 280 
The Early Role of the Church in the Formulation of the Gospels and 

Christianity 283 
Pseudepigraphy, Pious Fraud, and the Greatest Story Ever Told 285 
Creation of the Gospels: The Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and 

John 292 

Non-Gospel Sources for Jesus 294 

Contemporary Support for the Gospels 296 

The Story Behind the Epistles of Paul 300 

The Jesus Story — The One and Only Savior? 302 

Where the Story of Jesus Originated 305 

The Basis of Contemporary Belief 307 

A Final Word 309 


Chapter 13 — The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher 

Consciousness 313 

The Nature of the Journey 313 

The Journey to God-Realization and the Heart of Truth 314 

The Law of Unity 316 

The Illusion of Life 31 7 

Illusion : A Scientific Perspective 319 

Expanding or Changing Paradigms 322 

How We Create Our Reality/Illusion 327 

The Dream of Creation 328 

The Levels of Reality/Illusion Creation 330 

The Law of Soul and God-soul 335 

The Nature of ALL THAT IS 338 

The Law of Love 339 

The Spiritual Hierarchy 344 

The Law of Duality: The Nature of Good and Evil 346 

The Law of Polarity 348 

The Law of Spirit 349 

Works for the Good of the Whole 351 

Responsiveness of Spirit 352 

The Nature of Prayer 354 


The Power of the Individual 's Belief 354 

Associated Visualization or Feeling 355 

Duration of Focus 355 

The Action Component 355 

The Reciprocal Nature of Spirit 356 

Spirit and You: Getting the Roles Straight 356 

Impartiality of Spirit 358 

Spirit and Beauty 359 

Intelligence (Creativity) 360 

Spirit is Order 362 

The Illusion of the Straight Line (The Law of Cycles) 364 

The Source of Our Doubt and How to Trust Spirit 365 

Chapter 14 — The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 368 

Towards a New Spiritual Paradigm 368 

Soul Unbounded 373 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 375 

Soul- A ctualization 3 75 

God-Realization 377 

The Higher Consciousness Contemplations of Life 3 78 

Using the Affirmations and Contemplations 383 

Establishing Inner Communication — How 1 met Me 385 

The Physical and the Inner Bodies 387 

The Physical Body 388 

The Etheric Body 388 

Emotional Body 389 

The Mental Body 389 

The Soul and the Causal Body 390 

Meditation and Contemplation 391 

The Mantra 393 

The Nature of the Mantra as Sound 394 

Technique One: Basic Meditation/Contemplation Technique 397 

Technique Two: Self Selection of a Mantra 401 

Let the Chanting Begin 403 

Chapter 15 — Dreams: A Bridge to Higher Consciousness 406 

Dreams in Culture and History 406 

Dream Interpretation in Greece and Rome 407 

Contents xi 

Sigmund Freud and the Interpretation of Dreams 408 

CarlJung and the Archetype 410 

Current Dream Research 412 

Toward a Workable Integrated Dream Paradigm 414 

Interpreting Symbolic Dreams 41 8 

Recording and Using Dreams: Day and Night Journals 419 

Dreams of Harm 420 

A Dictionary of Dreams? 420 

Dreams beyond Time and Space 421 

Chapter 16 — The Practical Side of Higher Consciousness 424 

Measures of Success 424 

Producing an Effect in Life — The Art of Manifestation 426 

Too Much Stuff 426 

The Ways of Spirit in Manifesting our Goals 427 

The River: A Metaphor of the Workings of Spirit 428 

"Row, Row, Row Your Boat" 431 

Decide What You Want 431 
Elevate the Goal to the Highest Level — Levels of Manifestation 


Develop a Clear Image with Emotion and Detail 436 

Getting Out of the Way: The Proper Attitude for Success 436 

Follow Through on All Leads and Ideas Presented by Spirit 43 7 

The Master Principle 44 1 

The Master Technique 444 

Words as States of Consciousness 447 

The Breath of Life 449 

A Personal Treasure Trove: Words to Live By 450 

The Portable Chaplet 453 

Integration of the Contemplations 455 

Goal Setting 456 

Chapter 1 7 — The Call of Soul 460 

Law of Duality/Polarity Still At Work 461 

Working Together with Purity of Purpose 461 

It Happens in Due Course 463 

The Next Step 464 



Historical Bases of the Vairagi Eck Masters 469 

Historical Bases of the Eck Temples 477 

NOTES 481 

Chapter 1 — The God Seeker 483 

Chapter 2 — The Path of the Light and Sound of God 483 

Chapter 3 — How the Journey Started 483 

Chapter 4 — The Spiritual Journey of Graham Forsyth 484 

Chapter 5 — The Master Replies 484 

Chapter 6 — Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 485 
Chapter 7 — Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The 

Ten Devices 486 

Chapter 8 — The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 497 

Chapter 9 — The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 500 

Chapter 10 — Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 503 
Chapter 11 — Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 


Chapter 12 — Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 511 
Chapter 13 — The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher 

Consciousness 515 
Chapter 14 — The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 517 

Chapter 15 — Dreams: A Bridge to Higher Consciousness 519 

Chapter 16 — The Practical Side of Higher Consciousness 520 



INDEX 545 

About the Author 557 


The author gratefully acknowledges the assistance and support of 
the staff of "ONE" Publishing in the completion of this book, includ- 
ing: Albert Bejo, Adam Sharif, Amanda Hollander, Lauren Johnson, 
Bianca Redhead, William Idoniboye, Jun Tang, April Gratrix and prin- 
cipal editor. Dr. Brian Downing. 

Thanks also to early reviewers Darrell Johnson, Dr. Ewa Unoke, 
Alaya Johnson, Lisa Kyle, Mary Vorden, and Elizabeth Rice. 

Special thanks to Graham Forsyth, whose inspired journal was the 
catalyst for writing this book. 

And finally, to my beloved wife, Mary, goes my eternal gratitude 
for her support, protection, and counsel in climbing this mountain. 

Ford Johnson 

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The writing of this book has in every respect been a journey to 
higher consciousness. The events of November and December of 2001 
were the turning point in a search for God-awareness that has been the 
center of my life. These events were the catalyst that led me to chal- 
lenge and ultimately change my paradigm of the God-experience. As a 
result, my consciousness expanded from a modest house into what felt 
like a coliseum. This is what happens when old paradigms are shattered 
and new perspectives based in truth come into view. 

This book chronicles that expansion of consciousness. It began in 
earnest more than thirty years ago. As the title suggests, Confessions 
reflects the journey of a God-seeker to discover truth. Truth, of course, 
takes many forms and exists at many levels. In the final analysis, it is 
what each person chooses to believe and act upon. Yet, there is the con- 
ception of eternal truth that does not bend to the whim of individual 
predilections. This has always intrigued me. I longed for something 
eternal, not a childhood construct like Santa Glaus that was designed to 
be shattered or the dubious mythical foundations of most religious 
dogma. Indeed, it was this longing that propelled my initial search for 
spiritual truth. 

Over many years and numerous spiritual teachings, paths, and reli- 
gions my journey has taken me to what I have come to view as the heart 
of truth, the eternal bedrock that is unchanging ^adjust is. In this book, 
I describe this journey and the often astounding discoveries and capti- 
vating revelations along the way. As you might imagine, it is a roller 
coaster ride at times. But that is the nature of spiritual growth, espe- 
cially for the God- seeker. 

This book addresses several audiences simultaneously. First, it is 
directed to anyone who seeks the God-reality that lies beyond religion. 


philosophy, or science. Thus, it speaks to those who treasure truth 
above all else. Second, it is directed to anyone associated with Eckan- 
kar its progeny or any similar teaching of the light and sound of God. 
These include the Radhasoami Satsang Beas, Ruhani Satsang, and Sant 
Mat teachings in general. All of these groups share common threads 
that help and hinder the God-seeker on his journey to the heart of truth. 
Third, it is directed to those who have ever wondered — as did I — 
about the origins and reality of Christianity, especially in light of evi- 
dence concerning sixteen other crucified saviors who predated Christ. 
Regardless, all paths and religions are important way stations on our 
journey to God, but they are only way stations. 

This is the quandary I searched long and hard to resolve. When the 
facts about any religion or path are made known, it is easy to dispel the 
belief paradigms that hinder the seekers spiritual growth. But with what 
does one replace them? The adults in our lives were ready to dispel the 
Santa Claus myth with a sobering, albeit less exhilarating truth. Yet, the 
feelings and memories lingered as proof of the residual power of myth, 
even when overwhelmed by truth. Dispelling a spiritual paradigm can 
have a disquieting impact if not replaced with a more spiritually 
enlightened construct built on truth. After struggling with this 
dilemma, I proceeded with Confessions because I believe this require- 
ment is fulfilled. Therefore, after presenting facts that will undoubtedly 
challenge cherished ideas and well-established spiritual paradigms. 
Part IV of the book presents an empowering exemplar that fills the 
void. It shows the nexus between science and spirituality and how both 
are saying the same thing; exploring the same truth. Using insights 
from both, keys to the movement of consciousness to ever higher levels 
are presented. They are coupled with practical steps to integrate spiri- 
tual wisdom into the mastery of life. 

My orientation to studying and teaching spiritual and esoteric sub- 
jects has always been practicable — real world. I have had to apply 
these principles to running a business, raising children, married life and 
the realities of living in a modern world. I know from these experiences 
and the responses of those who have attended my workshops that what 
is outlined in this portion of the book actually works. More importantly, 
it provides a framework to evaluate the experiences of life from a spiri- 
tual perspective. Happiness, success, and accomplishment take on a 

Introduction xvii 

different and broadened meaning when every experience is seen as a 
gift that is always present but often overlooked. 

As one who is notorious for reading a book from the middle or the 
end, I am probably not in the best position to give this suggestion, but I 
will. Confessions reveals, and possibly astonishes as it lays bare false 
religious constructs with facts, history, and documentation that are 
powerful and verifiable. Then it builds and expands consciousness as it 
progresses from one set of concepts to the next. It is like rebuilding a 
house requiring fortification of its foundation before it can bear the 
load of new heights. Skipping too far ahead might confuse and raise 
questions that would have been answered at earlier points in the book. 
Likewise, it would be wise to reserve drawing conclusions too early; 
there are many twists and turns in this real-life spiritual journey. In the 
end, I believe the experience will lead to an expansion of conscious- 
ness, for this was certainly my reward as well as the response of those 
who participated in reviewing the book. Also, you may reach a point 
where the facts are enough and you are ready to move on to the next 
stage. If you reach this point, I suggest moving to Part IV of the book. 
Then you can return to Parts II and III from a more spiritually fortified 

As you might imagine, I felt considerable inner trepidation in writ- 
ing some of the chapters. I wondered if I should simply discontinue the 
writing and move on. But something within — my higher self — kept 
urging me on, forcing me beyond my outer fears to complete what I 
believe to be of great importance. One event that helped to reinforce 
this decision was a movie I watched while taking a break from writing. 
Quiz Show, an acclaimed drama, tells the true story behind the infa- 
mous television show scandal of 1959. Herbert Stempel, a disgruntled 
former champion, prompted a Congressional investigation into the 
popular game show Twenty-One with charges that the current cham- 
pion, Charles Van Doren, a popular Columbia University lecturer, had 
been provided with answers by the producers. The investigator (and 
author of the book that inspired the film) became the trustee of truth, 
and it was his unpleasant task to see that it not be suppressed. The 
investigator was confronted with the same questions I had posed to 
myself. Why disturb people's happiness with the ugly truth? I know 
how he felt and also how he had no choice. Once the mantle of truth 


seeker is assumed, a road is traveled that leads in only one direction, 
though there are many curves and bumps along the way. 

As the truth struggled to come out, I observed how delicate yet 
inexorable its power was. It could be suppressed, hidden, and falsely 
profiled, but it was unrelenting. Everyone has a deep and abiding love 
and need for truth, even if they are temporarily engaged in holding it 
back or benefiting from a deception. There is a divine spark that forces 
us to truth. That is why people confess to their crimes and feel relief in 
having done so. They cannot deal with its unrelenting pressure and 
pain. That is also why it is the infallible road to God, for Truth is GOD 
of ITSELF. Once we see truth for what it really is, we will also see our- 
selves and know that we are a part of the ONE. This cannot be achieved 
as long as we allow temporary expediencies and comforts to guide our 

A good friend had once argued: 

[T]his is a world of duality and nothing here is perfect. My yardstick is, 
"is it good enough." In our culture at a certain point in life we seem to 
loose the capacity to innocently idealize anything or anybody. 

He was right in a way, but is "good enough" really good enough? I sup- 
pose "good enough" is alright when speaking of Caesar salad or bean 
soup, but what about spiritual unfoldment? Doesn't good enough imply 
stagnation, acceptance of the status quo, quitting, deceiving ourselves 
into thinking that we are there when clearly we are not? Without new 
insights and truth, we are apt to say it is "good enough." But when we 
see the truth in something, it leads us to new levels of awareness where 
the old is no longer good enough, because part of divine discontent is 
the driving force to want more and to want the best. Who willingly 
accepts something less when better is known and available as an equal 
choice? At first, we feel this drive as a desire for things and stuff. In 
time, it is sublimated to a desire for higher consciousness, to know who 
and what we really are. This is where truth leads. 

But truth also can cause discomfort, for it is the catalyst of change. 
Change produces distress only when we reject where it is taking us. We 
always prefer the comfort of the known and reject, as long as we can, 
the mystery and uncertainty of the unknown. This entire discussion 

Introduction xix 

could be a metaphor for the underlying theme of this book: good 
enough is not good enough if it means avoiding truth. 

However, even growth and change are not uniformly continuous. 
There are rest points in eternity. Points where we can sit back and 
absorb what we have learned and benefit from our advancement. When 
we tarry too long and are not challenged to advance to a new level of 
awareness, we are stuck in "good enough." To my friend and to others 
who read this book, I can only say that I hope it will be good enough for 
a while — but only for a while. 

Ford Johnson 

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This page intentionally left blank. 

Chapter 1 — The God Seeker 

Who is a God Seeker? 

Maybe you are. In truth, we are all God-seekers, only some of us 
are more aware of it than others. The proof is everywhere. The lover of 
music searches for celestial motifs once heard during a dream excur- 
sion that continues to beckon. The architect looks within, sees a fin- 
ished version of his masterpiece, and is humbled by the knowledge that 
he has touched some higher force. The poet tries to translate inner 
ecstasy into words but is exasperated because he has experienced 
something words cannot express. The dancer moves with flowing lines 
to express a balance, a feeling that connects with something much 
deeper. The minister faithfully preaches the church's doctrine but won- 
ders, questions, and inwardly explores the ageless conundrum: Is this 
all there is? 

In time, these disguised longings for God initiate a search for truth 
that leads a person to become a conscious seeker. Eventually, all seek- 
ers reach a point where they realize that there is a force greater than 
them. They may even suspect that it permeates all things and is both 
powerful and intelligent. 

Questions and doubts can remain for years. Some seekers will 
always question or doubt what they inwardly sense. Even with an intel- 
lectual or inner awareness of this force, their inability to trust it and sur- 
render to it can persist. We experience the God force in many different 
ways. Our God may be personal, sensed within, and sustained by pri- 
vate and personal communication. Others, affiliated with a religion, 
may experience this force through the teachings, rituals, holy books, 
and inspired words of a spiritual leader or savior. 

In spite of doubts, the God-seeker persists in believing because he 
has experienced miracles in his life. He has been rescued from too 


many scrapes, brought back from too many mistakes, and shown 
enlightenment in too many dark moments to remain a non-believer. 
Through these encounters, he has sensed a connection between his life 
experiences and his spiritual development. Yet, he may have errone- 
ously attributed his many blessings to something or someone outside of 
himself. He does not understand, at least not yet, that the power lies 
within. He does not see that it is spirit coupled with the power of his 
belief, rather than the object of that belief, that is the true source of the 
power. But the God-seeker pushes on, looking for a bedrock upon 
which he can build an edifice of greater control over his life. 

All searches for greater knowledge or truth are aspects of the 
search for God. But most of us get lost in the petty details of life. With 
so many complex layers of illusion dominating our lives, we remain 
estranged from the truth of our origin and our existence. Sadly, most of 
us define ourselves by marital status, number of children, nationality, 
location, job, sex, race, religion, musical tastes, sports preferences, and 
other predilections. But these details miss the point of life and delay the 
expansion of our spiritual awareness. Even if we are clever enough to 
realize that these social descriptors are only layers of illusion that do 
not truly define us, we are still apt to get lost in our physical bodies. We 
delude ourselves into thinking that we are what they are, identifying 
with our physical accoutrements, medical problems, aches, pains, and 
physical desires. But this too is an illusion separating the God-seeker 
from truth. 

We may even identify with our emotions and feelings, but this is 
yet another illusion. They are merely aspects of ourselves that enable 
us to function in the physical dimension of reality. Through these layers 
of illusion, the self must navigate its journey to discover the truth about 
itself and its connection to the creator. This is the journey of the God- 
seeker. Like Odysseus's return home, the journey is long, complex, and 
fraught with perils. Thankfully, however, the journey can be com- 

Steps Along the Way 

My journey as a God-seeker began at an early age. My late grand- 
father, an Episcopal priest, instructed me in the teachings of Christian- 
ity. As soon as I was able to put together a full sentence, I was asking 

The God Seeker 5 

questions, challenging his assumptions, and generally making life 
more difficult for this stern but loving man. I was a complete flop as an 
altar boy; I never became adept at my ceremonial duties. Whether to 
stand or to kneel, or what words to recite after a particular invocation 
by the priest, was always a mystery to me. I simply did not see the con- 
nection between the detail of church rituals and spiritual development. 

Nor could I accept the notion that I was a sinner. I questioned how a 
creation of the Supreme Being could be inherently sinful. Why would 
God create such a wretched being? Being born in sin and spending the 
remainder of my life atoning for it made little sense to me. It was like a 
weight on my back that could never be removed. I wanted no part of it! 

Up to this point, my religious exposure was limited to Christianity. 
If it had the best explanation of my relationship to the divine, then I 
preferred to believe in nothing. Little did I realize that this period of 
questioning was a fortunate and portentous cleansing, in which the 
dogmas of sin, guilt, hell, the devil, and similar concepts were 
expunged. No longer hindered by controlling rules and moral strictures 
that leave feelings of guilt and shame, I moved into a state of spiritual 
freedom. Fortunately, this sense of freedom did not lead to reckless 
behavior, as it does for many. I avoided this pitfall because, as I was 
later to learn, / had lived before. Expunging these constrictive beliefs 
was merely the continuation of a process of spiritual education that had 
started lifetimes ago. The lessons from each of these lives were 
ingrained into the core of my being. They were there to serve as stop 
signs, warning me when I tried to use that freedom irresponsibly. 

Through my early education, college entry at age fifteen, service as 
a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, and the "paper chase" at Harvard 
Law School, I made my way into life and full adult responsibility. 
Through successes and setbacks, I learned life's lessons. Questions 
were sometimes answered, sometimes raised, but a deep spiritual hun- 
ger remained. Despite a flurry of social events, continuous travel, and 
other forms of outer excitement, the feeling persisted. I discovered 
what all truth seekers must realize: that my life was focused primarily 
on my outer or physical existence. My senses of self-worth, satisfac- 
tion, and happiness depended on the approval of others, my achieve- 
ments, and my possessions. I was searching outside myself for 


confirmation of who and what I was. Nothing could fill the void I felt 
when I sought only pleasure and outer fulfillment. This was one of the 
first clues that the life I had constructed in the outer world was not the 
final answer. 

In moments of inner silence, I would cry out to be shown the way. 
This was a critical point in my life, as it is in the life of any God-seeker. 
When the God-seeker realizes that there is more, and that help is 
needed to discover it, it is as if all the forces in the universe converge to 
show the next step in the quest for truth. 

Though the seeker is unclear about what is sought, there is comfort 
in words like "love" and "truth." Somehow, the God-seeker instinc- 
tively knows that truth is pure and powerful. Even in college, while 
others enjoyed sports and socializing, I found greater joy in engaging in 
debate — over virtually anything. I learned that as long as I stayed with 
truth and never allowed my ego to be trapped, I would never lose an 
argument. Invariably, as if in a Socratic dialogue, I would identify some 
error in fact or argument in which an opponent had become invested, 
shift the discussion to that vulnerability, and show the point to be 
untrue. I learned a great secret about the power of truth. Thus, I came to 
understand the sacred responsibility entrusted to one who seeks truth as 
a life goal and finds some measure of it. 

During this time, a friend handed me some books on esoteric 
knowledge. At first, because I regarded mysticism and the occult as 
insubstantial, even flaky, I ignored them. These books, with their 
unusual titles and topics, had an increasingly strange allure, enough to 
keep them out of the trash can. Eventually, I picked them up. Their con- 
tents exploded with insights and perspectives on existence that I had 
never imagined. Here were the answers to questions with which I had 
annoyed and frustrated my grandfather. Once I picked them up, I could 
not put them down. My life as a God-seeker shifted into high gear. 

A Higher Consciousness Primer 

For many readers, it will be necessary to establish certain basic 
concepts in spiritual development. The expansion of awareness is a 
continuous process. In the early stages of my spiritual education, I was 
exposed to basic concepts of higher consciousness. In time, I became 
grounded in broader and deeper concepts of life and living. Years of 

The God Seeker 7 

spiritual study and contemplation would enlarge and expand these 
basic concepts. They will be explored in later chapters. However, to 
fully grasp the content and meaning of this book, especially if your 
background is in traditional religion or you are new to concepts of 
higher consciousness, this section will serve as a primer. 

Know Thyself 

Wisdom begins and, as we shall see, ends with an understanding of 
self. "Know thyself has been the imperative voiced by philosophers, 
the spiritually enlightened, and sages from the beginning of recorded 
history. Yet, as much as we think we know ourselves, most of us have 
only a clue about who or what we really are. We are unaware of our- 
selves as spiritual, immortal beings living temporarily in human con- 
sciousness. We do not understand the extraordinary power and 
potential that we possess as soul because we identify so completely 
with our physical bodies, emotions, memories, and minds. We do not 
realize that they are only tools that we use to function in the physical 
and other dimensions of existence. 

By the standard of time that we generally understand, the journey 
of soul is long and arduous. Our life as humans, in the physical dimen- 
sion, is but a small part of that education. The purpose of this education 
is for soul to expand its awareness to encompass all of its God-like 
powers. With this knowledge, it can eventually take its place in running 
the universe. 

Many of us have endured difficult and even harsh experiences dur- 
ing childhood. We accept these experiences as a necessary part of per- 
sonal growth. In the same manner, soul must grow from the 
experiences encountered during its many lifetimes. Without these 
experiences, soul, in the human state, cannot pierce the illusion of life 
and experience divine reality. Even as humankind struggles to accept 
the concept of a sequence of lifetimes, the truth is even more remark- 
able. We live in the eternal now, and all experiences, reality, and life- 
times exist simultaneously. The illusion of a three-dimensional, 
holographic universe sustains the illusion of time as a sequential phe- 
nomenon and of space as possessing separateness, distance, and dimen- 


These concepts seemed fantastic when I first encountered them. 
They seemed possible, but Httle was happening in my outer Hfe to war- 
rant an immediate change in my paradigm of life. As I began to 
embrace them, however, events of the past began to make more sense. I 
saw in these events a pattern that was inexorably moving me to a higher 
level of spiritual awareness. The idea of life consisting of layers of illu- 
sion was a helpful concept. It enabled me to rise above numerous social 
and ethnic labels and function from a neutral and detached perspective. 

Even though I intellectually understood the power of soul, I found 
it no easier to manifest the things that I wanted in my life. In time, I 
would learn more about this power and how to harness it for my benefit 
and for the benefit of others. 

The Classroom of Life: How Souls Evolve 

Another concept that had an enormous impact on my early under- 
standing of life was the idea that every individual is at a different level 
of spiritual development and awareness. Some individuals are highly 
evolved and manifest remarkable abilities and insights from an early 
age. Attempts to explain the phenomenon of the child prodigy from a 
genetic, cultural, psychological, or psychiatric perspective fail to 
account for her advanced level of development. Yet, when life is 
viewed as a continuum, and death a mere transition from one form of 
existence to another in an ever-evolving life cycle, this phenomenon is 
easier to understand. This perspective was vital to me in gaining an 
appreciation and respect for the spiritual beings that were to become 
my children. It enabled me to understand my sacred responsibility to 
guide them to discover the thread that united their many lives, pointing 
the way to their spiritual expansion in this lifetime. While I have 
always dearly loved my children, I have never felt a sense of posses- 
sion that so often fouls the parent-child relationship. 

Other souls may just be starting their cycle of incarnations in 
human form. Not understanding who or what they are as spiritual 
beings, they are likely to cause disruptions for those who are more spir- 
itually evolved. We look at the actions of our fellow humans and some- 
times shake our heads, wondering how people can do such things. 
From our present more enlightened perspective, the answer is difficult 
to fathom, for we have forgotten the actions, experiences and lessons 

The God Seeker 9 

from our own earlier incarnations. Yet, it has always been the case that 
more advanced souls must interact with less evolved ones in order to 
teach and guide them. That is why the accelerated interaction of nations 
and peoples that is occurring today will result in the greatest expansion 
of spiritual consciousness in recorded history. While this will lead to 
greater levels of upheaval, it is the price that must be paid for the move- 
ment of all souls to higher states of consciousness. It is not difficult to 
see the patterns of human migration around the world and the resulting 
growth of awareness spreading along with it. 

Sin versus Learning 

Sin, especially original sin, was a concept I always found repug- 
nant. This was not because I wanted to avoid accountability, but 
because the concept and ideas surrounding it seemed geared to create 
guilt and entrapment rather than learning and emancipation. As my 
spiritual education progressed, I was gratified to learn that sin is not 
"sin," as my grandfather had taught me. Rather, it is a consequence- 
producing action that leads to an awareness-expanding lesson. Soul 
must have the experience, good or bad, in order to internalize the les- 
son. We see this everyday in raising our children. We can tell them 
what we want them to do, but only when they have personally experi- 
enced an event and its consequences do they understand for them- 
selves. As much as we would want to spare our children many painful 
experiences in life, there are some lessons that are only learned this 
way. No amount of fear-evoking declarations of sin can teach a lesson 
that only life's experiences can convey. Of course, this is not the only 
way to learn. While experience is most often the best teacher, the old 
adage that a wise person learns from the experiences of others is cer- 
tainly true. Once the God-seeker understands that there is wisdom in a 
teacher's words, the process of spiritual growth accelerates. 

A danger that soul faces in its expansion of awareness is the limits 
imposed upon it by many religions. That is why the idea of sin is not 
only mistaken but also harmful. It focuses more on the act than on the 
positive lesson that can be learned. The system of sin even results in the 
individual looking to something and someone outside of himself for 
forgiveness. In this manner, it becomes a form of control, for it vests 
the power of absolution in an outside agent rather than empowering the 


individual with the knowledge that sin is simply a "control-by-guilt" 
mechanism. Thus, though the act of confession may serve as a tempo- 
rary relief, in the end it misleads the individual and distorts her spiritual 
understanding. It fosters the illusion that the power for such absolution 
lies with the priest and the religion that established this indulgence. In 
actuality, the power lies within her consciousness. Here is where all 
power to change, forgive, and create ultimately derives. 

Birth, Death and Reincarnation 

My early upbringing in the Episcopal Church saddled me with 
ideas of heaven or hell in the afterlife, intended to shape my actions in 
this life. Not only were the notions of heaven and hell, reward and pun- 
ishment, wrong, but they also had a crippling, fear-producing effect 
during their reign over me. Religious dogma has had its greatest impact 
in misleading people about the phenomena of birth and death. Reli- 
gions have, since their inceptions, used the ideas of heaven and hell to 
keep followers in line. This simplification of life, death, and the after- 
life is largely erroneous, and continues to lead people away from truth. 
Instead, it places them in a constant state of guilt and fear. 

These myths of heaven, hell, and sin are shattered the instant the 
God-seeker comes to recognize that soul is eternal. Its very existence is 
evidence of a divine being, because soul is a spark, a part of a divine 
reality. Just as a drop of water from the ocean contains all of the charac- 
teristics of the ocean, so does soul, a part of God, contain all of ITS 
characteristics. This is the origin of the idea that we are made in God's 
image, which has mistakenly come to mean resemblance to our physi- 
cal form. 

Conventional notions of heaven and hell, salvation and damnation, 
are off the mark. Indeed, no less a personage than Pope John Paul II has 
gone on record as retreating from the literal interpretations of heaven 
and hell to a more enlightened, albeit limited, view of these two puta- 
tive destinations. Of heaven the pope has said: 

In the context of Revelation, we know that the "heaven" or "happiness" 
in which we will find ourselves is neither an abstraction nor a physical 
place in the clouds, but a living, personal relationship with the Holy 
Trinity. ^ 

The God Seeker 11 

On the more sensitive subject of hell, he explained: 

The images of hell that Sacred Scripture presents to us must be correctly 
interpreted. They show the complete frustration and emptiness of life 
without God.... More than a place, hell indicates the state of those who 
freely and definitively separate themselves from God. Hell is not pun- 
ishment imposed externally by God, but the condition resulting from 
attitudes and actions which people adopt in this life.... So eternal damna- 
tion is not God's work but is actually our own doing. ^ 

However, much more is known about the journey of soul at the 
transition commonly known as death. Once the life of the physical 
vehicle has ended, soul moves out of its shell into one of its other gar- 
ments that permit it to have experiences in other dimensions of reality. 
Though we are seldom aware of it, this is precisely what happens each 
time we have inner experiences during our dreams. We are actually 
experiencing another dimension of reality using one of the outer gar- 
ments suited for the matter that predominates on that inner plane. The 
vehicle used by soul in the second dimension of reality, commonly 
called the "astral plane," is the corresponding astral body. Indeed, the 
existence of parallel universes has been postulated by leading quantum 

At the point of "death," soul expands its awareness to encompass 
this dimension of reality. Here, more advanced souls, functioning from 
a higher level of consciousness, review the events of its physical life. 
For more spiritually evolved souls, because they are eager to under- 
stand the past life's meaning and proceed to the next lifetime, this 
encounter occurs soon after death. In this meeting, soul learns how well 
it used its opportunities for spiritual advancement and what potential 
experiences lie in the next life. I have studied this phenomenon over the 
years and will enlarge on its implications later. For now, I think it is fair 
to say that death is not the dreaded experience most people perceive it 
to be. It is merely a transition and is nothing to fear. Indeed, so won- 
drous and sublime are many pre-death encounters that some do not 
want to return to ordinary physical life. 

For less-developed souls, and especially those in religions that do 
not teach the reality of inner worlds, the death experience is quite dif- 
ferent. Upon leaving the body, soul's journey can take a number of dif- 
ferent forms. One of the more common encounters is the movement 


through what is often described as a tunnel at the end of which the indi- 
vidual may see a glorious flood of light. When soul moves towards the 
light, friends, relatives, or others with whom it would feel comfortable, 
meet it. More highly evolved entities serve as support in this dimen- 
sion, and can manifest in forms recognizable and comforting to the 
individual. These images can take on the form of Jesus for the Chris- 
tian, Muhammad for the Moslem, Buddha for the Buddhist, and so on. 
The death experience is not unlike that described by those who have 
had "near-death experiences" in the operating room or after terrible 
accidents. But, and this is crucial, it is also common to those who have 
developed the skill of consciously shifting awareness into these inner 
dimensions of reality. 

The Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) 

Reincarnation cannot be fully understood without considering a 
complementary law, the Law of Cause and Effect, commonly known as 
karma. Newton's laws of motion are a material articulation of a broader 
esoteric principle: for every thought, word, and action there is an equal 
and opposite reaction. Everything we do is a cause that has a corre- 
sponding effect. This cause-and-effect cycle explains all of existence 
and is the basis on which spiritual development is founded. In earlier 
stages of soul's existence (e.g., in plants and animals), laws of nature 
govern life, with little if any conscious decision making. As soul 
progresses into higher states of existence, consciousness expands, as 
does soul's responsibility for its actions. In the human state, the Law of 
Responsibility (a corollary to the Law of Cause and Effect) operates. 
Regardless of our knowledge or acceptance of universal law, we are 
responsible for everything we decide, and everything we think, say, and 
do. Spiritual growth is the product of the lessons learned from making 
these choices. Consequences can be experienced in this lifetime or in 
succeeding lifetimes — either way, they will be experienced. 

Those whose lives reflect a string of tragedies are most likely expe- 
riencing early stages of spiritual growth. They have not yet drawn the 
connection between action and reaction. The early tendency is to blame 
other people and other situations. When soul comes to the realization 
that it is responsible for its own existence, it is then on the path to true 
spiritual freedom, taking control of its thoughts, words, and actions. 

The God Seeker 13 

Until then, soul is the puppet of people and circumstances that it 
believes are responsible for its current state of affairs. While this expla- 
nation reduces the burden of accountability imposed by taking respon- 
sibility for all outcomes, in the end, it reduces the individual to a 
condition of powerlessness. While taking responsibility for everything 
that happens in our lives is often a bitter pill, it is the only remedy that 
emancipates us from the control of outside forces. Once we acknowl- 
edge that we have created our own circumstances, we empower our- 
selves to change them and make them whatever we choose. When soul 
actively takes control of its thoughts, words, and actions, it attains true 
spiritual freedom and control over life. 

Another corollary to the Law of Cause and Effect (Karma) is the 
Law of Equilibrium. It holds that everything in the universe seeks bal- 
ance, including all human expressions of energy — words, thoughts, 
and actions. All actions are balanced in conformity with this principle. 
In the process, our actions and their effects create opportunities for 
learning. When we take a particular action that produces a unique 
response, it either engenders pain or pleasure. The physical vehicle 
responds in a fundamental way. By its programming, it seeks pleasure 
and avoids pain. When an experience evokes a positive or pleasurable 
response (positive karma), we tend to pursue it. When an effect is con- 
strued as negative or unpleasant (negative karma), we tend to avoid it. 
It is through this simple mechanism that the Law of Karma and spiri- 
tual growth work. This principle has been long recognized in scientific 
research and has formed the basis of much of behavioral science. How- 
ever, it also has deep spiritual implications. 

Because the universe works in accordance with the Law of Equilib- 
rium, it is not always possible to balance all energy flows in a single 
lifetime, that is, to receive the positive or negative effects of all of our 
thoughts, words and actions. Thus, unbalanced energy (karma) is 
stored and follows us from lifetime to lifetime. This is why life cannot 
be understood from the perspective of a single lifetime. When we grasp 
the concept of stored unbalanced energy, we begin to understand the 
shape of life. A person who has inflicted pain, injury, or death on oth- 
ers, for example, learns under the spiritual law by having to endure a 
similar fate or by balancing this energy in some other way, in a subse- 
quent lifetime. One who has enslaved learns by being enslaved or per- 


haps by devoting his Hfe to setting others free. Another who has given 
much in worldly possessions or other tokens of generosity, returns to 
receive the bounty of these actions. Thus, in this meeting of Eastern 
and Western religious thought, one reaps what one sows, either in this 
lifetime or the next. 

The great secret to avoiding the effects of positive or negative 
karma lies in the attitude of neutrality, that is, in detached actions for 
the good of the whole. One is absolved of individual responsibility 
once this attitude is adopted. An example of this is in the behavior of 
those who use power entrusted to them by society. A policeman, when 
acting for the good of society (i.e., consistent with the laws agreed to by 
society), is absolved of individual responsibility for actions that may 
have resulted in harm to another. However, when found to be acting 
outside the scope of that authority (i.e., outside of societal parameters), 
then the protection is removed, and the policeman must receive the 
consequences for his actions. 

Those who genuinely act in the name of a higher good such as God 
live by this principle. This is the highest state of consciousness one can 
exhibit while in human form. This is the state of consciousness of those 
who have unfolded to the highest level. This is the level to which the 
Law of Cause and Effect, through the exacting application of "tough 
love," inexorably leads all souls. The number of lifetimes it takes for 
one to reach this level varies from individual to individual. Death does 
not serve as an evasion of this path, and thinking that suicide ends it all 
is the worst of illusions. The essential point, however, is that no one, 
regardless of his position of power, can escape the consequences of his 
actions. How long it takes the individual to learn this lesson is a matter 
of choice. 

As I progressed in my journey to higher consciousness, my under- 
standing of these and other concepts of existence continued to expand 
and deepen. The journey to the heart of truth eventually took me to a 
point of understanding that will be expounded in later chapters. But 
before reaching this point in the journey, it is instructive to follow the 
stages of spiritual evolution that are presented in the confessions of this 

Chapter 2 — The Path of the Light and 
Sound of God 

When the Seeker is Ready.... 

In late 1969, my life as a God-seeker was progressing full force. 
My favorite haunt was an esoteric bookstore in Washington, D.C. that 
had an adjoining health food cafeteria. I remember smelling the sweet 
condiments that wafted over to my table while I was buried in my latest 
spiritual tome. Each insight brought a deeper awareness of my inner 
self and its capacity for omniscience. In the human form, I marveled at 
the illusions of life and how they masqueraded as ultimate reality. 

Searching the bottom shelves of the outlying book racks, I encoun- 
tered a small blue booklet, no more than fifty-pages long, written by 
Paul Twitchell, entitled The Key to Eckankar. I quickly flipped through 
the manuscript and discovered that it contained some very unusual 
words and concepts, but it was its description of an Eck Master called 
Rebazar Tarzs and his discourse on reality that I found utterly captivat- 
ing. Tarzs spoke of the "I AM" principle, the concept of God (whom he 
called "SUGMAD") as the "self-definition of the Absolute."^ He spoke 
of the responsibility everyone has for forming the life he lives each day. 
Every aspect of our lives is the result of our individual and collective 
thought forms. 

His description of planes of reality beyond the astral plane really 
piqued my interest. It was the first time I had encountered any book that 
spoke of the existence of dimensions beyond the relatively common- 
place astral plane, which many religions call heaven. Yet, everyone 
experiences this dimension of existence in the dream state. When I 
returned home with my new acquisition, I underwent an explosion of 
consciousness that exceeded anything I had experienced. 


After digesting the information contained in my first Eckankar 
book, I went on a spending spree acquiring an entire library of Eck- 
related materials. The insights they contained and the many related 
classes and seminars I attended had a profound impact. The Eckankar 
teaching was extremely comprehensive and provided answers to virtu- 
ally every question I had ever raised. Indeed, by its own definition, 
Eckankar appeared to be all encompassing, the final step in soul's jour- 
ney to the heart of truth. The Eckankar Dictionary defined Eckankar as: 

Religion of the Light and Sound of God; the path of TOTAL AWARE- 
NESS; the way of all things; means "CO-WORKER with God;" a teach- 
ing which gives knowledge of both the LIGHT and the SOUND which 
contains the total sum of all teaching emanating from God; the very 
foundation of all systems of science, and the key to success in unfolding 
all spiritual powers; the Ancient Science of SOUL TRAVEL. Projection 
of the inner CONSCIOUSNESS, which travels through the lower states 
until it ascends into the ecstatic states where the subject feels he pos- 
sesses an AWARENESS of the religious experience of BEING; 
achieved through a series of spiritual exercises known only to the fol- 
lowers of this science. 2 

The Inner Worlds of God 

After many years of studying Eckankar, I became quite proficient 
in traveling into the inner worlds. These trips had become as real to me 
as my everyday surroundings. In addition to the astral plane, the teach- 
ings of Eckankar encompassed the "causal plane," in which memories 
of past lives are stored. These records can be retrieved through the 
intriguing technique Paul Twitchell called "soul travel." The works of 
Eckankar also described higher planes of reality at ever-higher levels of 
awareness. The next highest plane, called the "mental plane" (corre- 
sponding with a mental body), is the one in which the heavens of many 
other earthly religions could be found. Twitchell's writings described a 
"soul plane:" a level at which the true self, or "soul," experiences spiri- 
tual liberation from the constraints of lower existence. 

Like suits of clothes, these lower bodies are necessary for soul to 
function in the lower dimensions of reality. Paul talked about a spiritual 
hierarchy responsible for operating the inner worlds of God. Paul 
described a series of deities in each of these planes, whose names in 
Sanskrit reflected the experiences of those beings first capable of 
reaching these levels. Inasmuch as Eastern teachings laid the ground- 

The Path of the Light and Sound of God 17 

work for exploration of the inner worlds, much of the language used to 
describe these regions comes from Sanskrit, Hindi, or other Eastern 

Paul described the journey of soul as encompassing more than 
mere travel to the soul plane. He set forth five additional planes of real- 
ity including the Agam Lok, the Hukikat Lok, the Alaya Lok, the Aluk 
Lok, and the Anami Lok. Each represents a higher plane of reality in 
which only the Law of Love prevails. Below this "Second Grand divi- 
sion" at the soul plane are the worlds of duality, where the forces of 
positive and negative are at play. 

At the highest of these planes, the Anami Lok, there resides a being 
called Sugmad, who is the source of all creation. This being is believed 
to exist at a level of awareness and vibration from which it created 
Jehovah and all other spiritual being worshipped as God in other reli- 
gions, as part of a spiritual hierarchy. Eckankar would maintain that 
Judaism is correct in its assertion of one God, but incorrect in its under- 
standing of the level at which that God functions. The one God, Sug- 
mad, utilizes subordinate manifestations of itself to carry out the 
operation of the several universes. 

The Tibetan monk, Rebazar Tarzs, whom Paul recognized as his 
teacher and master, is said to be more than 400 years old, still living in 
his physical body in the Hindu Kush mountain range in Tibet. An 
advanced spiritual being, Tarzs is described as having the ability to 
travel in his soul-body and manifest himself in the presence of anyone, 
creating a body for himself as he moves through time and space. Paul 
described his encounters with Rebazar Tarzs in much the same way as 
Paramahansa Yogananda had described the appearance of his master, 
Sri Yukteswar.3 Both masters were purportedly able to manifest a 
"body" that could be seen and touched, and through which they could 
communicate and teach. 

Paul indicated that Tarzs works with a group of advanced beings 
called the Masters of the Vairagi Order. Eckankar teaches that these 
masters work in temples of golden wisdom scattered throughout the 
inner worlds. There, they function as guardians of a holy tome known 
as the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. According to Eck teachings, the Shariyat- 
Ki-Sugmad exists on each inner plane of reality, where these guardians 


watch over it. These books are said to contain the divine seeds of wis- 
dom to enhghten mankind. 

Paul took on the mantle of the "Mahanta," which, according to 
Eckankar teachings, is the highest state of consciousness known to 
humankind. The mission of this being is to gather all souls that are 
ready to return to the Godhead and to lead them through inner and outer 
instruction. The goal of each soul, supported by the Mahanta, is to 
achieve Self-Realization, God-Realization, and ultimately to become a 
co-worker with God. Paul was the most recent in a long line of masters, 
stretching back into ancient times, who worked in the inner worlds as 
the Mahanta and in the outer world as the Living Eck Master. As a 
physical being, the Mahanta uses a physical shell and has to deal with 
the same realities as all other men. But as the inner master, his powers 
are unlimited, for he is seen as the totality of divine spirit. 

Altering A Spiritual Paradigm 

Prior to finding Eckankar, I had read through more than two-thirds 
of the bookstore, including works on astrology, Egyptology, the occult, 
Rosicrucianism, Hinduism, Buddhism, theosophy, Islam, Sufism, 
Christianity, and every other "ism" I could find. All of these paled in 
comparison to the extraordinary insights contained in the myriad of 
books that Paul had written. But a God-seeker does not have his spiri- 
tual frame shattered without some signs of disorientation. Conse- 
quently, during the early period of my exposure to Eckankar, I was 
somewhat out of balance for weeks. My mind struggled to grasp the 
enormousness of the concepts I had encountered. What Paul was writ- 
ing about made sense, and was highly appealing, but there was so much 
that I had to accept on face value. After putting his books down for a 
period — I had overdosed on spiritual books — I eventually resumed 
my study, more convinced than ever that I was on the right track and 
had encountered a gold mine of truth. 

There was much that I did not accept from the teachings of Eckan- 
kar, even from the beginning, but I adopted an attitude of neutrality 
about the things I did not understand or accept. I tried to demonstrate 
and live the principles I understood, proving, one way or the other, 
whether they were true and worked for me or not. Having acquired 

The Path of the Light and Sound of God 1 9 

most of Paul's books, I still wanted nothing more than to lose myself in 
the immense wisdom to which I had been exposed. 

Despite embarking on a business career, my spiritual quest contin- 
ued. Having completed law school and worked for several years with a 
private company, I decided to start my own firm. In a short time, we 
won several contracts and grew to a modest size. Even with business 
demanding more of my time, my greatest desire was to take time off to 
explore these materials. I would literally lock myself in a room and 
spend days reading Paul's works and practicing soul travel. 

I knew I had found something I had been searching for all of my 
life. I knew instinctively that there was a deeper truth. For years I had 
been waiting for something to happen but was unsure of what it might 
be. Finally, I learned that our physical existence is not all that there is. 
Substantially more existed, and its discovery created a level of excite- 
ment and wonder that I could never have imagined before my exposure 
to Paul's writings. 

In spite of my infatuation with its leader's writings, I approached 
Eckankar with a high level of skepticism, bringing the analytic rigor I 
had absorbed during my many years of legal study. But as much as I 
tried to deal with the issues intellectually, because so much of it 
involved an inner process akin to surrender, I could not approach these 
works with the same level of scrutiny. I had to learn to move beyond 
intellect and logic to something more basic — intuitive experience. On 
the surface, Paul challenged his readers not to believe anything he said. 
He merely asked them to keep an open mind and try the spiritual exer- 
cises he prescribed. In time, he maintained, the student would be able 
to prove the truth of his assertions to himself. I thought this fair, so I 
maintained neutrality on many of his pronouncements, even though 
some seemed like boasts, too grandiose and unsupported for my taste. 
Then too, there were inconsistencies and contradictions that were 
somewhat troubling but not fatally so. I attributed most of them to 
problems stemming from the sheer volume of material he produced in a 
short span of time. 

A Spiritual Traveler is Born 

The spiritual exercises of Eckankar were intriguing. They were an 
essential part of the teaching, for it was their regular practice that was 


the key to exploring the inner worlds of God. With them, I was sup- 
posed to be able to travel beyond my own physical body and experi- 
ence the worlds that Paul described. If such travel were possible, then I 
would stick with them until I had experienced these inner worlds for 
myself. What could be more thrilling and challenging? I wanted to take 
the next step to understanding who I was and what was my mission in 

At first, I used a spiritual exercise that Paul called the "Easy Way" 
technique. This exercise requires the practitioner to sit in a chair with 
back straight, yet relaxed. Her hands are interlaced and placed on the 
lap. The feet are comfortably planted flat on the floor or placed over 
each other while also resting on the floor. An important part of the tech- 
nique (not unlike those of meditation) is to relax and clear the mind. 
After taking a few deep breaths to aid relaxation, attention is focused 
on a point between the eyebrows and approximately an inch or so 
inward. This point is called, in most Eastern religions and in Eckankar, 
the "spiritual eye." She then begins to sing the word "HU" in an elon- 
gated way, drawing the breath out with the intonation of "Huuuuu." 
She continues to breathe deeply while relaxing and keeping the focus 
of attention on the spiritual eye. 

Eventually, a light or other object will appear on the screen of the 
mind. The seeker allows attention to be drawn into whatever she sees, 
observing and taking note of the details. It is precisely this shift of 
attention from the physical world to the images she sees on the inner 
screen that draws her consciousness from the physical into the inner 
worlds. The shift from body consciousness to the inner worlds is usu- 
ally not recognized, just as the transition from wake state to dream state 
is not recognized. Yet, once consciousness has made the shift, the med- 
itator may experience the sensation of flying or floating in space, 
among others. When this first happens, the seeker may become startled 
by the awareness that she has left the body, fully conscious, and trav- 
eled to another dimension. But if practiced over a continuous period, 
anxiety disappears and she is actually able to control the movement of 
consciousness. We need not be afraid of this exercise; there are always 
spiritual beings around to protect those just beginning to explore these 
inner dimensions. 

The Path of the Light and Sound of God 2 1 

After some fits and starts, I found myself moving regularly out of 
the physical body and into the inner worlds. One of my first encounters 
in the inner regions was seeing a group of enormous lights moving 
toward me. At first, it was somewhat frightening, but later I sensed the 
warmth and feelings of love and protection emanating from them. As 
they surrounded me, I could make out beings. Their outer appearances 
were much like normal people, except that they projected a brilliant 
light. I looked down at myself and discovered that I was also a globe of 
radiant light, floating in the center of this circle. I sensed their commu- 
nication, not by words but by impressions. They greeted me with a joy 
like that of welcoming home a long-lost friend. I could not believe their 
excitement was directed at me! We communicated for some time, but 
the exact content I cannot recall. I only remember that I felt I had taken 
a new step and that I had been accepted as a part of a circle whose 
importance I could only surmise. This was only the first of countless 
experiences that I recall while traveling into these inner dimensions. 
Each experience left me with a feeling of oneness with a larger whole 
and of being protected in a way that made me feel very special. 

I recall awakening many mornings with a glow, a feeling of warmth 
and love that lasted for many days. It must have appeared to my staff 
that something was wrong with me. Imagine the president of a com- 
pany walking around all day with a giddy smile and a distant stare. 
They must have wondered what my drug of choice was! They never 
would have guessed that it was the radiance of the light and the love 
experienced in these inner regions of God. The source was no external 
object, it was inside me. In fact, it is inside all of us. 

Following these early experiences, I journeyed almost daily into 
the inner worlds. I saw cities, visited places of learning, and talked with 
denizens of the inner worlds, all in full consciousness. Each experience 
was as real and as complete as the experiences I had everyday in the 
physical world. There was no question in my mind that it was real, for 
if it were not, then my life as the president of a corporation, a husband, 
and a father was also an illusion. I visited the capital of the astral world, 
which I had come to know as Sahasra Dal Kanwal. I relived past lives 
that confirmed the reality of reincarnation. I traveled into the mental 
world and visited the city of Arhirit, a city described in the Bible: 


And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth.... 
And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all man- 
ner of precious stones.^ 

By the test that Paul had spelled out, I had apparently traveled to 
even higher regions, though I do not have as much memory of any 
forms observed on these planes. My only sensations on these planes 
were of sound and light. One of the tenets of Eckankar — derived from 
Shabd Yoga — is that God can be known as light and sound. The sound 
is the motion of the atoms of God as they descend into the lower 
worlds, giving life and sustenance to everything. As this wave of sound 
moves into different planes, it takes on different tones and different 
forms. In the inner worlds, we can hear these sounds as the buzzing of 
bees, the running of a brook, the tinkling of a bell, the celestial orches- 
tra, the wind, the flute of God, and other wondrous sounds. 

According to Eckankar, the sound of the buzzing of bees can be 
heard on the etheric plane. The celestial orchestras and the winds of 
God can be heard in the yet higher worlds of God. I have heard all these 
sounds. I have seen the radiance of the inner light, difficult to describe, 
but brighter, larger, and more magnificent than any view of the sun I 
have ever experienced. They are truly magnificent. Once we hear these 
celestial strains and see these inner sights, there is simply nothing in the 
physical world that can compare. All that is required is that we abandon 
fear and learn the techniques that enable consciousness to move 
beyond the body and into the inner worlds. 

My first encounter with the inner sounds of God took place when I 
was living on a boat in Washington, D.C. Early in the morning, I went 
into the forward cabin to perform my spiritual exercises. On one occa- 
sion, I awoke suddenly when I heard the sound of bees seeming to 
come from another part of the boat. How strange that there would be 
bees on my boat at five o'clock in the morning. I went back into con- 
templation and the sound was even louder. I got up, walked through the 
boat, and looked at the pier to see if a swarm of bees had descended. 
There was none. Though I had read and heard about this sound, I had 
no idea that it could be so loud, so ferocious, and so real. I went back 
into contemplation and again the sound of the bees came, this time 
even louder, with hundreds and hundreds of buzzing bees swarming in 
my inner world. I eventually settled down, realizing that I was experi- 

The Path of the Light and Sound of God 23 

encing quite a blessing. I allowed my consciousness to flow with the 
sound and to become part of it. It was an illuminating experience that 
brought an awareness of experiencing the true inner realities of God. 

This was the most exciting part of my study of Eckankar. No longer 
was I dealing with a religion that told me about the spiritual experi- 
ences of others and denied my capacity to have my own. Instead, I was 
able to experience the very things I had read about. Each morning, I 
could not wait to see what new adventure I would have and what new 
sounds I would hear. 

One morning, the strangest of all sounds seemed to come from the 
docks. It was the sound of bagpipes, often compared to the cries of a cat 
in pain. Of all the sounds that I would have imagined to be heavenly, 
bagpipes were quite low on the list. As before, I thought it was simply 
an earthly sound. I wondered who could be playing bagpipes at five 
o'clock in the morning. So I came out of my contemplation, went out- 
side, and stood alone in the silence. Of course, there were no bagpipes. 
As it turns out, bagpipes are commonly heard in the inner worlds. I 
smiled, returned to my contemplation, and was transfigured by the 
extraordinary sounds of bagpipes, with which I have subsequently 
fallen in love. 

These are some of the experiences that anyone, if they take the time 
to try, can experience for himself. Having ventured this far with Paul's 
writings and instructions, I was perfectly ready to move deeper into the 
study and to learn more about what this extraordinary man had to teach. 
I became an Eckist and dedicated my life to becoming a spiritual mas- 
ter, the goal of all Eckists. Nothing was more exciting than the expan- 
sion of awareness in the inner worlds of God. Nothing could be! 

A Life of Service 

Eckankar teaches that God-Realization is not the ultimate objec- 
tive. Beyond the realization of God lies the recognition that enlightened 
souls operate the universes of God. All beings on all planes (angels, 
guardians, and deities) are souls. But they differ from you and me in 
that they have unfolded to a higher level of spiritual awareness and 
have chosen to serve as conscious co-workers with God. Every spiri- 
tual being eventually learns that practice in this ultimate role of co- 
worker is an essential part of spiritual development. To simply sit back. 


receive wisdom, and not share it with the rest of humanity is not only 
selfish but also counterproductive. If an individual hoards the spiritual 
insights he has gained, his own spiritual growth will be delayed. 

After several years in Eckankar, my life of service in spreading the 
divine message began to expand. My early years in Eckankar seemed 
very easy. Much of the material was self-evident. In less than the usual 
two years, and at the request of local leaders, I was initiated into the 
teachings of Eckankar, which enabled me to become an "Arahata," or 
instructor. This allowed me to speak at public gatherings and to teach 
those who wanted to learn more about the path. I began speaking at 
more and more events. I was at my third initiation for a relatively short 
period, when the Eckankar spiritual leader at that time, Darwin Gross, 
invited me to skip a level and receive the Fifth Initiation. This initiation 
is considered a very important stage in the spiritual development of a 
seeker, for at this stage the seeker is said to have attained self-aware- 
ness. Soul then has the opportunity to assist others in their exploration 
of the worlds of God as a part of their continuing spiritual service and 

I became a fixture at Eckankar seminars, enthusiastically working 
with seminar directors to manage the larger convocations of Eckists 
that took place several times a year. Often, I was called upon to speak 
or conduct workshops on these occasions. These activities took me to 
many parts of the United States, Europe, Canada, and Africa. During 
these seminars, I worked directly with the seminar staff at the Eckankar 
International Office and also spoke at numerous seminars at the invita- 
tion of Eckists from around the world. The span of my involvement in 
this teaching, at this writing, is approximately thirty years. In the last 
five years, my role had become that of a major presenter of the Eckan- 
kar works at regional seminars worldwide. 

As a guest speaker, I have met and spoken with thousands of God- 
seekers in various parts of the world. At major seminars in Africa 
alone, attendance has ranged from four to ten thousand. All of this was 
done in the name of service and to share the principles that I had 
learned and practiced. Sharing the truth of God is what I have chosen to 
do in life. As a married man with children, I have had to earn a living 
and provide for my family. This has given me an opportunity to put the 

The Path of the Light and Sound of God 25 

spiritual principles I have learned into practice. I have done this in the 
creation and management of several companies. In many talks I have 
tried to show others how to use the God principles to bring abundance 
and happiness into their lives. This is a goal that is achievable by any- 
one willing to learn and apply the principles of spirit. 

In my last five years with Eckankar, requests to speak and to meet 
with seekers at statewide and international events increased substan- 
tially. I began to develop and explore new dimensions of the spiritual 
truths that were spelled out in Eckankar works only superficially. 
Rather than simply relating stories of my experiences with divine spirit, 
I preferred to talk about the spiritual principles and the laws of the uni- 
verse that empower people to discover and prove these principles for 
themselves. There is nothing wrong with stories, but, in my experience, 
they often leave the listener enamored or even moved by its contents, 
but fail to convey the underlying spiritual principles that can be applied 
generically. The audiences before whom I spoke, evinced a hunger to 
learn and understand these spiritual principles, which were seldom the 
focus amidst the flood of stories. 

My role in Eckankar seemed to be one of bridging the gap between 
the profound but sometimes incomprehensible works of Paul Twitchell 
and the pleasant anecdotes and stories preferred by the present Living 
Eck Master, Harold Klemp. I have always thought that souls are differ- 
ent and require a variety of approaches before they can be reached. Paul 
thought this too, and so wrote poetry, prose, and fiction to get his mes- 
sage across. In my presentations, I attempted to bring a balance 
between the spiritual principles seekers needed to know and examples 
of how they worked. 

Journey of the God-seeker 

While this book deals with the experiences of one God-seeker as he 
journeyed through Eckankar and other paths to reach God-Realization, 
in a broader sense, it is the story of all God-seekers. Everyone hears 
this call, though some resist and others ignore it entirely. In the end, all 
will hear the call again and eventually respond. My journey through 
Eckankar is particularly important because Eckankar purports to be the 
highest spiritual teaching on the planet today. Indeed, it is a teaching 
that is profound in content, approach, and promise. On reading some of 


the Eckankar books, one is apt to think that they have found the final 
spiritual answer. In time, one learns, as did I, that when soul comes to 
understand its origin and returns in consciousness to the point of unity 
from which all derives, it has reached the "I AM" state, for all is here 
and now. 

My public service in Eckankar continued until January 2002, when 
I made my last Eckankar presentation before a group of Eckists in Chi- 
cago, Illinois. It became clear at that time that my talks had been influ- 
enced by a string of events that altered my spiritual journey forever. 
Indeed, the events of November and December 2001 were extraordi- 
nary. They expanded my capacity to peer deeply into a teaching I loved 
dearly and to help the people in it whom I loved even more. It is 
because of my love for them, and the connection that I have with all 
souls seeking higher states of awareness, that I have written this book. 

Chapter 3 — How the Journey Started 

First Contact 

It all began innocently enough. My staff and I were in the final 
stages of preparing for an upcoming speaking tour in England. The six- 
day, seven-workshop tour was taking shape, and I was looking forward 
to a reunion with friends I had made during speaking visits to England 
in prior years. About a month before my departure, a member of my 
staff brought me a communication that had been received through my 
company's e-mail. The message was unusual, in part because it came 
from a High Initiate (HI) in Eckankar who lived in England. It received 
my immediate attention. Here is the message: 

From: Lisa Kyle 

Sent: Friday, October 05, 2001 10:37 AM 

To: Ford Johnson 

Subject: Requesting Your Advice! 

London, England 
October 05, 2001 

Dear Ford, 

I am greatly in need of your wisdom and advice. I am presuming on my 
contact with you over the years at various seminars and on stage in the 
UK to ask for your trust and help in light of a rather extraordinary situa- 

Myself and a fellow H.I., Mary Voaden, are in contact with an individ- 
ual who is having the most profound inner experiences and initiations 
seemingly on the same levels and also beyond those of Paul and Harold. 

Whilst I know that we do come across these individuals in Eckankar 
who make certain claims, the very nature and quality of what is occur- 


ring with Graham seems to be in a completely different league from 
anything that has come my way previously. As to Graham himself, 
rarely have I talked with someone so full of caring, integrity, love, and 

I would really appreciate, depending on how you feel after having read 
this, if I could email you some of Graham's journals and then perhaps 
arrange for us to have a meet-up when you are over in the UK in a few 
weeks time so you could meet Graham and also so he could talk with 

The nature of the experiences detailed in Graham's journals and from 
what he is sharing with us are not only profound with new slants and 
information on certain aspects of the Eck teachings but are also utterly 
extraordinary on a spiritual wisdom level and could have wide reaching 
ramifications for Eckankar. 

Graham's early journals tell of his experiences as he unfolds from Sec- 
ond to Thirteenth Initiate and detail his meetings and contact with all the 
elements of the hierarchy through all the planes and into the heart of 
God. In his latest writings, he shares his preparations for the Fourteenth 
Initiation and the Mahantaship and the subject matter widens citing such 
things as the site of the Oracle of Tirmer being replaced by the Cave of 
Tomsk on the inner planes due to the worsening effects of the conditions 
in Tibet and in the world; (Rebazar has now said that this is a fascia 
fronting a Temple above the Pyrenees where the ceremony will take 
place); information for the next phase for the movement of Eckankar; 
detailed descriptions of the Nine Silent Ones and a number of incredibly 
profound wisdom teachings from their named spokesperson (far from 
being cold and aloof these Beings are love itself); mention of an ancient 
Eck Master of the Sixteenth Initiation, who is rarely in embodiment and 
who works mostly within the Eck itself. This Master is preparing Gra- 
ham for his next step spiritually under the protection of the Nine Silent 
Ones. The latest writings contain information most delicate/sensitive in 

Graham has been told that his journal has to be placed in front of Sri 
Harold sooner rather than later. Depending on what happens then, the 
next step will be made clear. 

With love and blessings 
Lisa Kyle 

The contents immediately piqued my interest, and I instructed my 
assistant to ask Lisa to send me a copy of the journal so that I could 

How the Journey Started 29 

review it firsthand. Upon review of the document, it was clear that it 
lived up to the billing that Lisa had given it. It contained more than 
sixty detailed accounts of the spiritual experiences of a devoted student 
of Eckankar. Over a period of about seven years (1994-2001), Graham 
meticulously wrote of a series of inner spiritual experiences, more pro- 
found and far reaching than any I had read in the Eckankar writings, 
with the exception of Paul Twitchell's The Tiger 's Fang.^ What was 
even more impressive was that all of the experiences occurred during 
Graham's reading of the discourses and while he was practicing the 
spiritual exercises that the spiritual leader of Eckankar had outlined for 
each chela. 2 (With Graham's permission, I have included portions of 
this journal in the following chapter.) 

It was striking that Graham had consistently used his secret word^ 
and other techniques taught by the Living Eck Master to test the valid- 
ity of his spiritual experiences. So much was happening to Graham that 
he wanted to make certain he was not deceiving himself and that his 
experiences were valid. During most of these journeys into the inner 
worlds, Harold Klemp (Wah Z^) — or an image thereof — accompa- 
nied Graham. These inner travels also included experiences with many 
other masters, some familiar and others unfamiliar in Eckankar writ- 

I had been contacted because the His assisting Graham felt that I 
might be able to present these materials directly to the leader of Eckan- 
kar, Sri Harold Klemp, the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. The writ- 
ings appeared to be those of a very responsible and dedicated God- 
seeker of the highest integrity. Whether true or not, they certainly were 
the works of someone who believed, with all his heart, that his experi- 
ences were pure and true. From his journal, Graham appears to have 
been compelled to agree to have his materials presented to Sri Harold. 

After speaking several times by phone with Mary (a close friend of 
Graham and Lisa), and learning more about Graham, I requested that 
she contact him and set up a telephone conversation between the two of 
us. Mary told me that she had known Graham for a number of years and 
became aware that he was having experiences in the inner worlds that 
far exceeded anything about which she had encountered or read. They 
became friends and she encouraged him on numerous occasions to con- 


tinue with his work, sensing its potential importance. It was on the 
strength of her personal knowledge of Graham and her certainty of his 
integrity that she and Lisa felt comfortable asking for my assistance in 
presenting the journal to Sri Harold Klemp. She then set the time for a 
telephone conversation. 

Mary sent Graham's journal to me in two parts. The first consisted 
of spiritual experiences from 1994 through 2000. These were extraor- 
dinary enough, but not as sensitive in regard to Eckankar as the content 
of later materials from 2001 . Mary sent me the first part of Graham's 
materials as a test to see if I could handle the more sensitive material. 
When I spoke with Mary, I told her that I found the materials to be con- 
sistent with other Eckankar's writings. Certainly, if the writings of Paul 
Twitchell, the experiences of Harold Klemp, and the books of Phil 
Morimitsu^ and James Davis's were valid, then Graham's journeys must 
also be considered valid. In each instance, the experiences of the writer 
could never be proven objectively. They were accepted on the strength 
of the integrity of the individual writing them and on the assumption 
that no one would lie about experiences with God. 

Later, Mary sent me the second part of Graham's journal. These 
were of a highly delicate nature because, if accepted by the Spiritual 
Leader of Eckankar, they would change the entire course and direction 
of the teaching. It was precisely because of the extraordinary and por- 
tentous nature of these writings that as a High Initiate, "chief channels 
for the Eck power,"^ I considered it my duty and my obligation to bring 
these materials to the attention of Sri Harold Klemp. 

Several days after reviewing the material, I phoned Graham to tell 
him that I considered his experiences extraordinary and his insights 
illuminating. My words evoked a palpable sigh of relief felt across an 
entire ocean. I cautioned Graham that it was not my place to judge the 
truth of his materials but assured him that I sensed his sincerity, hon- 
esty, and integrity — the only basis forjudging spiritual experiences. I 
concluded by saying that I would do everything in my power to ensure 
that these materials were placed in front of Sri Harold Klemp. 

How the Journey Started 3 1 

As a follow-up, I sent him this letter: 

November 2, 2001 

Graham Forsyth 

West Yorkshire, England 

Dear Graham, 

I have read your experiences several times and I am quite comfortable 
with what I have read in terms of presenting them to HK. 

What you have brought forth, in the experiences you have shared, is 
extremely profound. Your writings convey a truth, power and light that I 
have not encountered except in some of Paul's writings. 

The Master was entirely correct when he told you that the truth and sin- 
cerity of your writings would not be difficult for the truth seeker to see 
and accept. There are so many who have reached the level of the fifth 
initiation and who seem dead in their active service to Eckankar. They 
would be enlivened by much of what you have to say. 

One of my concerns is what materials would you be presenting to HK? 
The entire record is too much to expect him to review in the short time 
that we will be there. Then too, there are some parts of the writings that 
I do not think should be transmitted. We can put the package together 
when we are in Washington but give careful thought to this. The human 
factor is still at play and you don't want to dig yourself a hole unneces- 

If HK rejects the appeal directly or refuses to meet or respond, then the 
next course of action is unclear. I would like to know what your thinking 
is about your next step if this is the outcome. 

It is possible that HK might accept your experiences and invite you to 
Minnesota to work for Eckankar for a while as a type of apprenticeship. 
Working there for a while without the immediate responsibilities of tak- 
ing over might be perceived as being in the best interest of the whole. I 
am only saying here that you might want to consider that this is one pos- 
sible outcome. HK followed this approach himself before he took over 
as the LEM studying under Darwin Gross for several years. 

Have you started a book or given consideration to one? Obviously this 
will be needed as soon as possible regardless of the outcome of the visit 
to MN. Your writings are very profound and form an excellent basis for 
your book. 

What is your timetable on this or will you take it a step at a time as spirit 
unfolds it to you? 


What direction are you getting on the inner on these questions? 

I have many questions and issues to discuss and I am truly looking for- 
ward to meeting and talking with you! 

May the Blessings Be, 

Ford Johnson 

P.S. Enclosed is a copy of the letter I sent to HK announcing our visit. 

Sensing the importance of these materials and the possibihty that 
Harold might need to meet and speak with Graham confidentially, I 
wrote to Harold Klemp, informing him of the events that had transpired 
and also telling him that Mary, Lisa, Graham, and I would be traveling 
to Minnesota following my speaking tour in England. 

This is the letter that I sent to Sri Harold Klemp: 

November?, 2001 

Ford Johnson 

Sri Harold Klemp 

The Mahanta, The Living Eck Master 

PO Box 27300 

Minneapolis, MN 55427 

Dear Harold, 

During the week of Nov. 2-7th I will be engaged in a Vahana tour in 
England set up by the English Chelas. This will consist of a series of 6 
workshops in 6 cities in five days. It will be quite exciting and will pre- 
pare the way for the Regional Seminar in or near London the following 
weekend when A*B* will speak. 

On October 5, 2001, I received a rather extraordinary letter from an HI 
in England asking for advice and assistance on a matter she regarded as 
needing to be brought to your attention as soon as possible. I encounter 
many of these situations during various speaking engagements for Eck- 
ankar during the year. But this one was truly different and was of such a 
nature that I felt it had to be brought to your attention. 

The issue involves an English Chela named Graham who over a period 
of seven years has recorded a series of inner experiences that, in their 
content and detail, are on the order of Paul's writings in The Tiger's 

How the Journey Started 33 

Fang and your writings. Many of these descriptions involve meetings 
with many of the ECK Masters and contain messages from these mas- 
ters that deal with Eckankar that Graham has been instructed to commu- 
nicate to you. 

In this situation, I believe it is my responsibility as a Mahdis to bring 
this to your attention for your disposition. The Chela in question and the 
two His from England that brought this matter to my attention both 
regard these communications as highly credible, having known this per- 
son for several years. Indeed, they have decided to accompany me back 
to the US along with Graham and travel to Minnesota to personally 
deliver these materials. I have read them also and do agree with the 
English His that the materials should be presented directly to you. 

Accordingly, we will be arriving in Minnesota on Thursday, November 
15, at which time I will contact SK* to give her a package containing 
these materials that, I trust, she will deliver to you personally. After that, 
Graham will be available to meet with you if you should choose to meet. 
The group will remain until Sunday morning, November 18 in hopes 
that you might wish to speak with one or more of them before they 

I realize that this action is somewhat unusual, but I can assure you that I 
would not even consider it if I did not think that it was of the utmost 

May the Blessings Be, 

Ford Johnson 

Having taken steps to bring these materials to the Living Eck Mas- 
ter, I continued with final arrangements for my speaking tour. I also 
went over Graham's journal again. The implications for Eckankar were 
staggering. I had no idea how things would play out. 

Arrival in London: The English Tour 

I arrived in England on the morning of Monday, November 5th, 
2001 . 1 was greeted by my old friend Albert, a dedicated Eckist with 
whom I had previously worked in spreading the message of Eck. An 
extraordinary amount of work had gone into preparing for the trip. The 
workshop posters, circulated in large quantities, laid the groundwork 
for what was to be an exciting and highly successful speaking tour. 


Workshops were presented in Leicester, Edinburgh, Durham, Newcas- 
tle upon Tyne, East Sussex, Reading, Somerset and London. 

Prior to coming to England, I had tried to arrange a meeting with 
Mary, Lisa, and Graham to discuss the content of his journal and our 
upcoming trip to Minnesota. The original plan was for just Graham and 
I to meet with Sri Harold Klemp. But because of Mary's and Lisa's sup- 
port of him over the years and perhaps also because of the novelty of 
flying (he had never even left Britain), Graham asked if they would 
accompany him, and they accepted. Aside from the scheduling prob- 
lems associated with my speaking engagements, Graham's circum- 
stances also posed difficulties in arranging a visit with him. 

Although one of the workshops took place about thirty miles from 
Graham's home, my schedule and the confidentiality of our communi- 
cations did not permit a visit. Albert, who organized the tour and 
accompanied me to each site, knew nothing about my communication 
with Graham. The earliest opportunity to meet would be the day of our 
flight back to the United States. We planned to get together at Heath- 
row Airport prior to our flight to Washington, D.C., and later to Chan- 
hassen, Minnesota, the site of the Temple of Eck. That was the best we 
could do. So, the idea of meeting, discussing, and planning was put in 
abeyance until our departure. 

My attention was now focused on completing the tour and sharing 
what I hoped would be an empowering message on the workshop 
theme: "Making the Most of Life through Reincarnation, Dreams and 
Soul Travel." After the fourth workshop (Newcastle upon Tyne), we 
returned to London for a short rest before going back on the road for the 
final phase of the tour. During the London visit, I received a call from 
the Temple of Eck. It was from Sri Harold Klemp's assistant, who 
informed me that, because of his busy schedule, Sri Harold preferred 
that we not bring Graham's journal to Minnesota. Instead, he requested 
that I simply send the journal. The Living Eck Master would review it 
in due course. I sensed that something was up, but what? 

Chapter 4 — The Spiritual Journal of 
Graham Forsyth 

Preparing Graham's Journal for the Master 

At times, the enormousness of the course on which we had 
embarked seemed overwhelming. Because of the sheer power, scope, 
and depth of Graham's journal, it simply had to be brought to the atten- 
tion of the Living Eck Master. No one could guess what Harold's 
response would be, but it had to be sent. Like Jonah, Graham was reluc- 
tantly and almost defiantly resisting the implications of his inner expe- 
riences. Indeed, I think it would be fair to say that presenting his 
journal to the Living Eck Master was the last thing Graham wanted. 
Yet, for the God-seeker, there is little latitude in carrying out God's 
will. The inner push to answer the call is powerful and overwhelming. 
The inner assurances needed to bolster the God-seeker's compulsion to 
serve come when needed. This is what Graham was told during one of 
his inner journeys in September of 2001: 

Those few whom you have met and talked with will surprise you by 
their readiness to accept you. Remember, nothing is by accident, all is 
for a reason. You have been led, placed, kept, and unfolded very pre- 
cisely. You've often wondered and asked why others accept your experi- 
ences very easily, in fact, more easily than you've accepted them 
yourself. Well, now you have the answer to this question that you've 
asked repeatedly; they have always been aware of you, according to 
design. 1 

The flight back to the U.S. was lonely but productive. When one's 
attention has been completely spiritual for more than a week, it is diffi- 
cult to revert to the role of corporate president. The very next day, I was 
immersed in the latest details of home and office. After attending meet- 
ings and being briefed on the events of the previous week, I was 


pleased to find that nothing had blown up and that my excellent staff 
had done a superb job of moving things forward. 

I immediately began work on the journal to give it more structure 
so that it would be easier for the Living Eck Master to review. I was 
sensitive to how busy he is. I remembered in the past I had written him 
long letters for which I had been good-naturedly chided. Revamping 
the journal involved giving each experience a title and developing a 
table of contents. After about two days, it was finally ready to be sent. 

Some of the material in Graham's journal was so sensitive that I 
was concerned it might not receive a positive response. We wanted to 
avoid the all-too-human reaction of anger. Sri Harold Klemp, like any- 
one else, is subject to anger, ego, and all other human responses. Many 
who follow spiritual leaders often ascribe to them almost superhuman 
emotional control. Because of my past experiences with Harold, I 
thought it wiser to omit potentially inflammatory materials. However, I 
have included them in this book. (The full text of this journal is con- 
tained in a book authored by Graham. 2) 

Perhaps some background on Graham would be of interest here. 
Graham was bom, raised, and has lived his entire life in the small town 
of Keighley, in West Yorkshire, England. As he describes it, his life 
was nothing out of the ordinary for a person from a working-class 
background. His early years were largely influenced by his father, 
whom Graham describes as "a man of very narrow vision, short on 
understanding, devoid of patience and a Communist through and 
through." As testament to the power of soul to transcend any situation 
and environment, Graham made it through his early years with an inter- 
est in debate and a thousand questions with which he terrorized his 
middle-and secondary-school teachers. He took a keen interest in reli- 
gion while in Senior School under the instruction of a Catholic teacher, 
who, according to Graham, was the most influential person in his life. 
Long after he left school, he remembered the words of his religion 
teacher: "There will come a time when you will believe in God." 

After completing school, Graham became a blacksmith and welder 
and soon began having experiences of an unusual nature. Late one 
night, Graham awoke to find a young man, about nineteen years of age, 
with ginger-colored hair and a pale complexion, kneeling beside his 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 37 

bed. Thinking that he was being robbed, he lunged at him. When his 
hands and arms passed right through the young man, he realized that he 
was an apparition of some sort. He could see the door through his visi- 
tor's body! He was convinced he had just seen a ghost. When the entity 
disappeared, Graham made a mad dash for the safety of his brother's 
room. Receiving little sympathy from his incredulous brother, he reluc- 
tantly returned to his room, hopeful that the odd experience was over. 
The experience had a profound effect on his life. The initial incident 
was followed in short order by visits in his astral form to his parent's 
house (later acknowledged by his mother) and by participation in vari- 
ous forms of spiritualism. 

After joining the Mother Church of Spiritualism, Graham partici- 
pated in a development circle where he soon demonstrated the ability to 
make contact with entities in the astral dimension and to channel their 
input. One such being that worked through him was a Masai warrior 
chief named Wongoola. Speaking through Graham, this tall, twenty- 
five year-old being with an infectious sense of humor introduced him- 
self to the group. The communication with Wongoola strengthened 
over the following weeks and months, until a struggle within the circle 
resulted in Graham leaving the group and eventually the church. 

After marriage and the birth of his first child, Graham studied the 
path of Krishna, but soon was swayed by the writings of Julian 
Johnson, a member of the Radhasoami Satsang Beas and author of The 
Path of the Masters. Johnson's book exposed Graham to the Sant Mat 
teachings, an aspect of Shabd Yoga, the Yoga of the Audible Life 
Stream. Graham would later learn that this book and the wisdom it con- 
tained were primary sources for the Religion of Eckankar. 

Before that, his inquires into Sant Mat led him to Maharaj Charan 
Singh Ji. Committed to higher consciousness, Graham practiced two 
and a half hours of daily meditation and observed a vegetarian diet, a 
regimen he still follows. The study of Sant Mat exposed Graham to the 
teachings of many great masters. When he finally found the path of 
Eckankar, he was completely familiar with the teaching, its terminol- 
ogy, and the role of the Living Master, because it was virtually identical 
to the Sant Mat teaching he had studied under Maharaj Charan Singh 


The Sant Mat teaching encompassed the teachings of Kabir, Gum 
Nanak, Saint Paltu, Saint Dadu, Shamaz-i-Tabriz, Rumi, and many oth- 
ers. When his master, Charan Singh, died, Graham sought a new mas- 
ter. Eventually, through the inner influence of Param Sant Kirpal Singh 
Ji, the former spiritual master of Paul Twitchell, Graham was directed 
to Sant Ajaib Singh Ji (Sant Ji), the successor to Kirpal Singh. Gra- 
ham's inner journeys with Sant Ji were filled with experiences on all 
the inner planes, and eventually led to the God-Realization experience 

Graham came to Eckankar in 1994. He did so because of an inner 
experience that he had with his then master, Sant Ji, who introduced 
him to Sri Harold Klemp, and, in a gesture, handed him over. It was not 
Graham's intention or desire to join Eckankar, but his inner communi- 
cations from Sant Ji clearly indicated that it should be his next spiritual 
step. Graham remained a chela under the guidance of Harold Klemp for 
more than seven years. During this time, he compiled the most exten- 
sive journal of inner experiences I have ever read. This body of work 
compares in every respect to Paul's experiences in The Tiger 's Fang. 

Graham's journal was transmitted to Sri Harold Klemp on Novem- 
ber 18, 2001 . In addition to a brief letter of transmittal from me, the fol- 
lowing letter to the Living Eck Master from Graham was included: 

18th November 01 

Sri Harold Klemp, 

The Mahanta, The Living Eck Master 

Dear Harji, 

I have been asked by The SUGMAD to place before you this journal 
containing the experiences I have received while a member of Eckankar. 
I have also been informed on the inner that you have been made aware, 
and know the reason for it being asked of me. I have not undertaken this 
lightly, and it does not sit easily on my shoulders. It is not something 
that I myself have sought-it has sought me. 

All that is contained within the journal has withstood the test of the 
secret words that are required to be used to prove their validity and all 
that you are about to read, I stand by as true. 

To help place all this in front of you, I have been most fortunate in 
receiving the guidance of two high initiates, Mary Voaden and Lisa 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 39 

Kyle. Without their support, I would have found it very difficult to 
achieve. It is very hard to have things placed in front of you by an ordi- 
nary Eckist, therefore we had that hurdle to overcome. Very kindly Ford 
Johnson offered to help bring this to your attention when we approached 

I alone take full responsibility for all that has been written. It is as given, 
I have added nothing more. I realise that some of the experiences are of 
a sensitive nature, and what has been revealed through them. Your com- 
ment to Ford that you are aware of this, and that there was no need for 
me to come out to America has made the approach to you easier. Please 
feel free to ask anything you like of me. I will always do my best to 
answer your questions as openly and honestly as I can. 

I remain yours in Spirit, 
Graham Forsyth 

Subsequent to sending Graham's journal to Harold, the manuscript 
was entitled, "In the Many Hands of God." Below are excerpts from it. 

In the Many Hands of God 

by Graham Forsyth 

July 29, 1994 - Being Enveloped by the Light 

While singing HU, an experience took place, where I saw myself stand- 
ing on my own with a very bright beam of white light coming down 
from above and entering my body through the top of my head. The light 
then shone out of my body, as smaller beams through my eyes, ears, 
nose, mouth, and the two lower openings. Then, suddenly, my body was 
enveloped completely in this white light and its form could not be seen. 
It was as if each pore of my skin was emitting a ray of white light in the 
same way that a porcupine is covered with quills. I had a similar experi- 
ence with my former Master, Sant Ajaib Singh Ji. 

August 7, 1994 - Meeting Wah Z and the History of ECK Masters 

While meditating, repeating the Master's spiritual name, Wah Z, within, 
I saw myself with the Master (Sri Harold Klemp) inside an office. It felt 
as though I was in America. He was talking to me as we both looked out 
of a large office window onto what appeared [to be] either a large gar- 
den or a country scene. The subject was life and the works of ECK. Sud- 
denly the whole room was filled with a very bright white light and I saw 


what appeared to be like a shaft of chromed steel about three inches in 
diameter emerging from the light and impaling the Master in the solar 
plexus region. It entered the Master at an angle of about forty degrees 
from the horizontal. The Master stood facing the light with His arms 
open. He was smiling and showed no signs of pain. 

Earlier that morning, I had read about Sri Darwin Gross leaving ECK- 
ANKAR. I had been greatly puzzled as to why someone would leave 
after such spiritual attainment. This experience was to show me that the 
silver cord, i.e., the chrome bar, was unbreakable, for the connection 
between the SUGMAD and the Mahanta is the strongest bond of all, and 
is never broken. This bonding is much, much stronger than that of the 
ordinary Chela. This put my mind at rest as to how I could have had an 
experience with Sri Paul Twitchell and Sri Darwin Gross before I came 
to ECKANKAR, and after Sri Darwin Gross had left the organisation. 

October 3, 1994 - Further Meetings with Gopal Das and Studying 
the Shariyat 

While contemplating, I was given the feeling to ask that I might be 
taken to a Temple of Golden Wisdom to study the Shariyat-Ki-SUG- 
MAD with Sri Gopal Das. So, going with this impression, I asked if it 
would be possible for me to do so. I quickly found myself in a large 
open square, surrounded by buildings of a Roman type design (the same 
as in the earlier experience of September 20,1994). Sri Gopal Das was 
there to greet me and then he left me alone to make my own way to the 
Temple (which I had also seen before). When Sri Gopal Das greeted me. 
He gave me a look as much to say "Are you here again?" but it was a 
beautiful and welcoming way in which he did it. I entered the Temple 
and approached the Shariat-Ki-SUGMAD, which was placed on a ped- 
estal a little in front of what I felt was an altar of some kind. 

I stood at this pedestal and opened the book. A tremendously bright 
light came out of the book, yet I had no trouble with seeing. As I looked 
into the light, it seemed to go on forever, as though the depth of it could 
not be measured. At the same time, single letters as from the alphabet 
were also coming out of the book within the light and were passing into 
me, I could just feel a slight sensation as they entered. Then the letters 
changed into notes that are used in the writing of music. This went on 
for five to ten minutes. I have had this experience before but could not 
make out what the objects in the light were, so I never recorded it. 

October 8, 1994 - My Encounter with SUGMAD and ITS Commu- 
nication to Me 

This experience took place on October 5, 1994, but I was reluctant to 
write it down, because of what it implied. Now I feel I have no choice 
but to put it down, as I've felt uncomfortable for not doing so. During 
contemplation, a voice spoke to me, it was not a voice as spoken in the 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 41 

physical world, but an impression which came across as someone 
speaking. I cannot remember all that was said and in what order it came, 
as I tried not to take much notice of it because I was afraid to accept it, 
let alone write it down. So in the name of the SUGMAD, I now will put 
it down in writing. The voice started talking about creation and how 
spirit plays its part in the order of things. Then it spoke to me in this 


This is the truth of what I can remember being told. I did not want to put 
it down, but I have had no choice. Not to do so, I now feel would be a 
lack of faith. With my former Master, Sant Ajaib Singh Ji, I had the 
same experience as Sri Paul Twitchell when He was taken to see the 
SUGMAD by Sri Rebazar Tarzs. In this experience, I was allowed to 
speak to the giant form that had manifested (as described by Paulji) on 
different occasions. I do not want to make the claim that the SUGMAD 
speaks to me directly (for I know that GOD rarely if ever communicates 
with anybody in the physical form), but in ECKANKAR the Key to 
Secret Worlds, Sri Paul Twitchell has written on page 74 (I quote), 
"Here we can communicate with the spiritual travelers or we can have 
direct contact with GOD and, when we return to the earth, we will 
remember just as much of our communication as can be brought within 
the compass of brain activity." 

I must admit I did not have the feeling of any raised consciousness when 
this took place, and so I cannot know at what level it occurred. That is 
why I was reluctant to write it down. After I had finished writing this 
down, I was about to put it away and asked again that, if I had written 
anything that was wrong or untrue, the SUGMAD would forgive me, as 
I did not want to make any false claim. As I asked this, the last sentence 
from what was spoken to me was repeated, and I remembered it again 
clearly from the experience. I had put it down wrong, so this is the cor- 
rected version. I now make this statement in the name of the SUGMAD 
and the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, Sri Harold Klemp, that all that 
is written here is the truth to the best of my knowledge, and nothing has 


been put down that I know to be false. May GOD judge all that is writ- 
ten here. 

October 25,1994 - Removing the Ball of Fear 

While starting to try and do the ECK exercise of opening the heart cen- 
tre to help remove fear the following experience took place: Repeating 
Master's spiritual name, Wah Z, I tried to imagine the picture of the 
exercise as given in the book, but with no success. I had tried this over 
the last few days, yet I found it hard to visualise the picture given. Try- 
ing again on this particular day, within moments the Master came, 
appearing in a setting alone with me. He stood facing me and then 
dropped onto his right knee right in front of where I was sitting. 

Reaching out with his right hand, he pushed it into my body at the solar 
plexus centre and then pulled it out holding a black ball about the size of 
a grapefruit. Standing up, he then tossed it away while saying, "That's 
got rid of the ball of fear." It happened so fast, I just thought to myself, 
"This cannot be true" (although I was testing the experience and the 
Master's form by using His spiritual name). The Master just smiled and 
said, "OK, we will do it again," and repeated what he had just done. As 
this was different from the spiritual exercise I had been trying to do, I 
then asked the Master how I could continue the exercise to allow the 
light to enter into me. He just smiled and, again dropping down onto his 
right knee, said, "As we have removed the ball of fear, let us replace it 
with balls of light," and with this he placed his right hand, which was 
holding a ball of white light, into my body at the solar plexus centre. He 
did this four times, each time placing a ball of white light within me, and 
then the experience ended. 

November 13, 1994 - Stepping into the Light (Accepting the ECK) 

Using HU as my mantra, I started to do the spiritual exercise where Wah 
Z removes a black ball of fear from within me and replaces it with four 
coloured balls of light. As I visualised this within. Master appeared and 
knelt down in front of me (as was usual), but this time he had no head. I 
was singing HU mentally, yet the figure still stayed in my presence. As 
the figure reached out to touch me, I pushed away its hands and changed 
my mantra to the Master's name, Wah Z. Still the figure stayed, so I 
tried using the name of the SUGMAD and at the same time visualised 
the Master coming and removing the headless figure, which He did. 
Then, as this new figure of the Master knelt down in front of me, its 
head also disappeared. At this I stood up and walked away from the fig- 
ure to where the tube of white light was shining (I've mentioned this 
before) and stepped into the light. The feeling of peace was overwhelm- 

Within seconds of stepping into the light, Wah Z appeared with Sri 
Rebazar Tarzs at his right side. A faint smile was on their faces as they 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 43 

looked at each other and then at me standing in the light. After a 
moment or two, Sri Fubbi Quantz appeared at the left side of Wah Z. He 
had a knowing smile on his face, and while looking at me he said to 
Wah Z, "Hah! I see he has placed himself into the light. It is good, for 
now he has surrendered to the ECK of his own free will." A few 
moments later the experience ended, and it became clear to me what it 
was all about. During all my experiences within, I have been led by Wah 
Z or one of the other ECK Masters. They have shown and told me what 
to do. But Master came this time without a head to test me and see if I 
would reject the experience altogether or whether I would, of my own 
free will, trust in the light of ECK and go forward on my own with faith. 

November 25, 1994 - A Visit To The Sun Worlds With Rebazar 

While singing HU, Sri Rebazar Tarzs appeared within with a pair of 
modern-day flip-flops in His hands, which he offered to me. I did not 
take them at first, because I wanted to keep on singing HU a little while 
longer (as I usually sing HU for at least twenty to thirty minutes). So 
Master Tarzs sat down and waited for me to finish. He had his wooden 
staff with him, which is the first time I've seen him with it. After singing 
HU, I changed over to my secret words that Wah Z had given me the 
day before, so that I could always test the experience. I accepted the san- 
dals and put them on. Then, taking Master's left hand, we started to 
climb a very jagged, steep, rocky slope. I now understood why Master 
Tarzs had brought his staff and the sandals for me. When we reached the 
top, the walking became more difficult, as we had to walk upon rocks 
that were sharp and pointed, using them as stepping stones and having 
to keep our balance. The stones that we were walking on seemed to be 
about six feet above ground level. 

Then, Master Tarzs stopped, and there before us, lying in a deep valley, 
was a city of golden light. High up in the sky was a brilliant yellow sun. 
As we watched, the sun started to get lower in the sky until it had cov- 
ered the golden city in the valley and nothing of it could be seen. Then a 
few moments later, it rose up into the sky again and I could see the city 
once more, and now I could also see more of these golden cities; each in 
its own valley and each producing its own light. They had no need of the 
sun's light. Then, Master Tarzs pointed to the cities with his left hand 
and told me these were the sun worlds. 

It was now clear to see that what I thought were just some pointed rocks 
we were standing on, were in fact high mountain peaks and they were 
like the hub of a wheel, with lower mountain ranges radiating out from 
them like spokes, and between these mountain ranges were the golden 
cities in the valleys. What Master Tarzs was showing me was the cre- 
ative centre of the Sun Worlds. This was the point at which we stood 


and all the worlds of that region were shown as the golden cities in the 

He put His arm around my shoulder, and I put mine around his waist (I 
looked about fourteen years old standing at his side), and he said to me, 
"Because of your speed of progress, you've been brought here to be 
tuned into the vibrations of this plane, and this will be so for all the other 
planes as well. Do not worry about the short stay in these planes, for you 
are not to be held up here. You are to progress on. Also do not forget the 
time difference that there is in the spiritual worlds; a few moments here 
can be the equivalent of a long period of time in the earth world." 

The feeling of oneness and being completely loved and accepted by 
Master Tarzs is one that always overwhelms me. It is unlike anything I 
have ever felt before and it's the same with all the ECK Masters I have 
had the good fortune to meet. 

December 12, 1994 - On Being Tested by Peddar Zaskq and Receiv- 
ing the Golden Crown 

While sitting listening to the sound current, the ECK Master, Sri Paul 
Twitchell (Peddar Zaskq), came to me within and asked me if I wanted 
to go with Him on a spiritual journey. I was eager to go, for the last 
twelve days had been quiet within for me, and I would have loved to 
have gone with Him. Yet within me, I had the feeling that this was not 
all that it seemed to be, although I have a great respect for Master Zaskq, 
for it was He who brought me to ECKANKAR in the first place. I told 
Master Zaskq I would go with him, but first I must have the permission 
of my Master Wah Z. If he did not give me permission, I would not go, 
for I had put myself completely in his hands. Master Zaskq was very 
persuasive in his offer, but still I would not go with him until I was told 
toby Wah Z. 

After many attempts to get me to follow him. Master Zaskq broke out 
into a large grin and at the same time Wah Z appeared at his side, both 
looked very pleased with me, then they disappeared. A few moments 
later, Wah Z reappeared and placed on my head a simple golden crown. 
Then all was made clear to me. It had been a test to see if I would follow 
another Master, because I had been feeling that something was amiss 
with not having had any experiences for the last twelve days. During 
these twelve days, I had the feeling that Master wanted me to rest from 
the experiences that were taking place within, and that is why I felt, 
when Master Zaskq came for me, that all was not what it seemed. There- 
fore, Master Zaskq had come to tempt me to see if I would go with him. 
Because I would not until my Master Wah Z gave me permission, I had 
passed, and both Masters were very happy. 

There was a lesson also learnt here and that is "When the experiences 
slow down or stop, there is a reason why the Master does this, and it's 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 45 

always better for the Chela to accept than to go elsewhere trying to force 

January 6, 1995 - Discussions with Wah Z about ECKANKAR and 
My Mission 

While using my secret words in contemplation, I asked Wah Z to clarify 
a dream I had had the night before, since I was not sure whether the 
dream was showing me that I was going to move materially or spiritu- 
ally. Wah Z told me I was going to move in both aspects, for as I was 
unfolding spiritually, the material environment I was in was now unsuit- 
able for my needs, because of the spiritual role I had to do. 

I then went into meditation still using my secret words and soon found 
myself in an office setting with Wah Z. We were talking about the spiri- 
tual work that had to be done in ECKANKAR, and he said the part I had 
to play in this work was unique, even for ECKANKAR. Then I saw 
myself with Wah Z in a cottage garden. All around the garden was a 
thick privet hedge, with just a tiny overgrown gate that was the entrance 
into the garden in which stood a little white cottage. Wah Z and I had a 
spade each and some cutters for cutting the hedge. Together, we started 
to remove the gate and also part of the hedge, until we had made an 
opening large enough for three cars to pass through side by side at the 
same time. I knew Wah Z was showing me symbolically how I was 
being opened up for the ECK to work through me; I was being made 
into a bigger channel for the work I have to do. 

Then the scene changed again, the hedge had become a stonewall with 
two white marble pillars on which swung two wrought-iron gates 
painted black. The opening was as large as the hole Wah Z and I had 
made in the hedge, but the garden and cottage had disappeared. All there 
was to see was a light white mist on one side of the gate and a golden 
light on the other side. Then, Wah Z said this was showing me that, in 
the part I had to play in ECK, I would be a gateway to heaven for some 
people. I asked him how this could be so, for I was nothing special. Wah 
Z then reminded me of an earlier experience where I was given the 
name of Phoo Lin, The Light Giver, and that Wah Z himself had placed 
the light within me so that I could help those souls who come to me, in 
the service of ECK and the Mahanta, to find the path. 

January 16, 1995 - Being Accepted Into the Vairagi Order 

While sitting in meditation (using my secret words) I recalled the expe- 
rience I had the other day, where a figure of what I now understand to be 
the SUGMAD came from out of a large sun and spoke to me in the pres- 
ence of Wah Z. As I sat looking at the sun again today, from each side of 
it, and at a level below its centre, a line of figures holding hands came 
towards me. They looked like the paper-chain men we used to cut out of 
paper when young. They had no visible features other than their human 


shape and all were of the colour of the sun. They started to form a circle 
around me, and when it was completed, another one was formed around 
the first one. This went on until there were six circles surrounding me, 
each one encompassing the other, with me alone in the middle. I was 
looking around for Wah Z, when he appeared outside of the circle on the 
left hand side of the sun. He was gigantic. The sun looked like a ball of 
about three feet in diameter at a level with his head. Master was wearing 
black socks and trousers with a white shirt rolled up at the sleeves to his 
elbows and a thin black tie. He was dressed like this in the previous 
experience, and he was sitting in a crossed-leg position. I felt at ease 
now. I could see Master and just watched what was taking place around 

When the circles had been formed, a voice, which was more of a strong 
impression than a spoken word, said, "THE VAIRAGI WELCOME 
YOU INTO THEIR MIDST." As I started to understand what it was all 
meaning, another impression of a voice came from the sun, it said "ONE 
towards Wah Z, who was smiling, not at me in particular, but at all that 
was taking place. And this is a hard thing to describe now. From the sun 
I could feel waves of love that were washing over Wah Z. I can now 
understand the meaning of bathing in GOD's love. 

July 21, 1995 - Beginning the Work of Spreading the Light of GOD 

While doing the spiritual exercise of looking for the light, as given in 
the ECK Discourse No. 11, the Master Wah Z appeared within holding 
out his cupped hands in front of him. He walked towards me and, at the 
same time, opened his hands. The light that came from his hands was 
tremendously bright, and, as he stopped directly in front of me, he said: 


After saying this, he showed me what looked like a huge oval diamond 
in his hand; it was what was giving out the light. He then placed the dia- 
mond to my forehead and, as he did so, I felt a powerful surge of light 
and energy flowing through my body. It made me feel as though I had 
been super-charged with an electric current and, at the same time, I was 
blinded by the light. The experience ended after this, and because it was 
so quick and subtle, I took it into contemplation, asking the Master if it 
was correct and that I had not made a mistake. Master assured me that 
all was proper and correct, and he added these words, "SERVICE IS A 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 47 

March 28, 1996 - On Meeting the Spiritual Counsel (Nine Silent 
Ones) and Being Tested 

While in contemplation, using my secret words (Master is making me 
experiment with words very frequently), I soon found myself with Wah 
Z, standing in a very bright light. Master led me to an ordinary looking 
chair and let me sit down. As soon as I sat. Master walked a few steps 
away from me, and then from within the light, nine shapes of a human 
form appeared. These forms were of the same bright light, they had no 
features. They were all behind a long crescent-shaped desk to which I 
was facing. The Master and I appeared as we do in the physical body. I 
thought of the Nine Silent Ones as they appeared in front of me and, as I 
thought this, I was told that it was the Spiritual Council. 

I knew I was being asked questions, but I cannot recall what was asked 
or what I said. I did have the impression that it was to do with serving 
ECKANKAR. After the questions, the nine forms made a circle around 
me, at this point, I could not see Master anymore and my point of view 
changed to where I was looking down on myself in the circle of light. I 
could experience being in the circle and watching myself at the same 
time. The light then closed in on me, growing tighter and tighter around 
me. I was being squeezed by a great force. As the force grew stronger, I 
was then shot upwards at a great speed, like a bar of soap when 
squeezed out of wet hands. Then the experience ended. It was very sub- 
tle; therefore, I'm going to try it again in my afternoon sitting to see if I 
can have it made clearer. 

Sitting again this afternoon, I went into contemplation, using my secret 
words, and soon saw a repeat of what I had experienced this morning. It 
was like watching a film within. This time Wah Z gave me an explana- 
tion: "As the Council of Nine are responsible for controlling the flow of 
ECK, they also play a part in helping to choose those who are going to 
be used as a channel for the ECK. At different stages you have been 
tested, this was just one more for you which you've come through. The 
Nine surrounding you in the light, which then shot you upwards, is the 
ECK being channeled to give you a boost upwards towards your goal of 
GOD realization and Mastership. Have no worries, all is well with you." 

September 19, 1996 - Accepting My Experiences and Role as a Mas- 
ter in the Bourchakoum."* 

With this new experience of being in the Bourchakoun, I asked Master 
while in contemplation why my spiritual progress had gone further than 
I was first told it would. He answered me this way: 

When your former Master told you that the path you were on was 
one of Mastership, it made sense to you, because of all that you 
were going through spiritually. As you progressed, he told you that 
in this lifetime you would be at the level of a Master. This made it 


easier for you to accept the high experiences in Anami with your 
Master without becoming too unbalanced. 

When you came to ECKANKAR, expecting your experiences to 
slow down, your progress continued without any let up. Again you 
were able to cope with all this and still keep a presence of normal- 
ity. These experiences in ECK opened you up to the point where 
you could be told of your position in the Bourchakoun without any 
shock to you or your system. Remember, you have always been 
very discriminating on the paths you've walked, and this had to be 
taken into account. Discrimination is needed, of this there is no 
doubt, but you have the tendency to hold yourself back, because 
you find it hard to accept that this can happen to you. 
You were given an experience only a short while ago, where you 
saw yourself in the centre of a circle of ECK Masters, and the light 
was coming from you to them. It was clearly showing you what 
your position was, but you were still reluctant to accept it, to the 
point where you telephoned the ECK RES A and asked for her guid- 
ance. She explained its true meaning for you, then you accepted it, 
for it confirmed what you had thought but found hard to accept. 
If from the start you had been told the full truth, you would not 
have been able to accept and believe in it or yourself, so you were 
taken a step at a time through these stages, as are all who walk the 
spiritual path. I did give you a hint that something was going to 
happen when I told you that things were going to take place this 
year which would be beyond your imagination. Your son's surprise 
decision to join the army was not the only one of these, as you now 
know. It has not been easy for you, but you have done well and we 
are all pleased with you. May the blessings be. 

October 22, 1996 - On The Prospect of Receiving the Rod Of ECK 
Power (Meeting with Masters) 

For the last week, I have had experiences concerning the Rod of ECK 
Power. In these, I am always made to feel that I am going to receive it, 
but I have never really accepted any of this, and am always asking for 
clarification. Today, while in contemplation using my secret words, I 
found myself staying at the home of Wah Z and His wife. Because I had 
not brought many clothes with me, Wah Z gave me a maroon-coloured 
robe to wear, and then led me to some patio doors that faced onto a gar- 

He indicated for me to step through, and, as I did, the scene changed to 
where I was following Master Rebazar, who was leading me along a 
very rocky path towards a white monastery-type of building with red- 
tiled roofs. It was constructed at the base of some huge, vertical rock 
faces and was on different levels with at least four round turrets, whose 
roofs were tapering to form a point like a sharpened pencil, though, 
where it joined the turret, there was an overhang. A zigzag slope led up 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 49 

to the front of the building, and there to meet us was Sri Fubbi Quantz, 
Sri Lai Tsi, Sri Yaubl Sacabi, Sri Gopal Das, and a few more whom I did 
not recognise. 

As I came to each one in turn, they smiled and gave a nod with their 
heads to point me in the direction of a door. Coming to the door, I 
passed through, and the Masters followed. Inside, the room was empty 
except in its centre, coming down through the ceiling and disappearing 
into the floor, was a beam of brilliant white light of about four inches in 
diameter. I was told to take hold of this, for this was the Rod of ECK 
Power, and that this was a privilege being given to me by GOD. I took 
hold of the Rod, though I felt nothing, and was told these words: "You 
now hold GOD's heart in your hands." The experience then ended after 
lasting for twenty minutes. 

Now I understood the meaning of the experiences of the last week, and 
that I was being given the Rod of ECK Power, but only as a gift from 
GOD, not as one who is going to accept it as the Mahanta. I looked in 
the ECKANKAR Dictionary and read the following words: "Rod of 
ECK Power: The power of the WORD of GOD, which is given to that 
being who has been chosen by the SUGMAD, as It descends and enters 
into the new Living Eck Master. The power makes Him the actual 
MANIFESTATION of GOD at the rites or the initiation of accepting the 
Rod of ECK Power; The power of the Mahanta Consciousness." This 
would also explain why I never felt anything as I held the Rod of ECK 
Power. It was Master's way of showing me it was a gift, not that I was 
going to receive it. 

November 4, 1996 - Meeting With Master Yaubl Sacabi on Being a 
Living Temple Of Truth 

Continuing with the same spiritual exercise, I now put my attention on 
the spiritual city of Agam Des and Master Yaubl Sacabi. It was a few 
moments though before I had any movement from within. As always, I 
used my secret words to test everything and I now found myself stand- 
ing in front of Wah Z and Master Sacabi. As Master Sacabi took my 
hands in His, we were both instantly standing on the surface of a barren 
moon, looking like the physical moon that we see at night. All around us 
in a dark sky were worlds upon worlds — as far as I could see. Master 
Sacabi then said: 

All places that you go to become sanctified by your presence. 
Wherever true devotion is, that place becomes holy. Even this bar- 
ren moon has now life just by your presence alone. For as a channel 
for the ECK, IT will flow through you, going out to all and every- 
thing, for the ECK is the life force of all GOD's creations. You are 
now the living Temple of Truth, and it's your mission to take this 
truth to others. 


Each ECK Temple of Golden Wisdom is a step up on the path 
towards GOD-realization. You are now a Temple for all truth, and, 
as that living Temple of Truth, you must go to those who are as yet 
unable to gain access to these Temples of learning and help them 
understand. Not everyone will accept what you say, nor will they 
want the help that you can offer, but never forget this, by your pres- 
ence alone the ECK will radiate from you as ITS channel, and all 
will be given spiritual upliftment, though they may remain ignorant 
of it. In your last two visits to the other Temples, you've been 
shown how, as a channel, the ECK will work through you. Please 
do not doubt yourself and what is taking place. Accept what is 
being given to you, and that you are a living Temple of Truth, as are 
all, but you have now come to the stage of realisation of your true 
self May the Blessings Be. 

August 14, 1998 - On First Meeting the Nine Silent Ones 

On the 12th and 13th, while sitting in contemplation, a group of strange- 
looking people came to me within. They stood about seven to eight feet 
tall, lean in build, with heads that were normal in width but about eigh- 
teen inches in length, tapering to a rather sharp point at the crown. They 
had no ears that I could see, their eyes were round and large, brown in 
colour, and they had a gaunt appearance about them. The eyes, nose, 
and mouth were positioned relatively the same as ours, but most of the 
head mass was above the eyebrows. They had no bodily hair, and a sin- 
gle white gown covered their body, yet at the same time it appeared to 
be their body, as though both were one and the same. Nothing was said 
to me on both occasions, yet I had a strong impression I was in the pres- 
ence of the Nine Silent Ones. 

Today, while trying to find a possible description of them to help con- 
firm this experience, I found a passage in the Shariyat-Ki-SUGMAD 
(Book One, page 14) that said, "If he who seeks is a Chela of a Vi-Guru, 
he cannot be deceived by the Kal Niranjan. If he has not the armour of 
Spirit he can be misled." This could be Master giving me the answer 
through the Golden Tongued Wisdom; all the same I shall take this 
within to see if it can be explained further. I have been in front of these 
Nine before. Then their appearance was of a human form but with no 

September 4, 1998 - Seeing the Cosmic Breath of GOD 

While contemplating on the gaze of the Master and using my secret 
words to test everything, I soon found myself looking down on a large 
range of mountains. Then my position changed to where I was standing 
on these mountains, which, by now, were as small as pebbles under my 
feet. At the same time I was also able to watch myself from above. I was 
wearing a simple white, full-length gown, and my size was growing rap- 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 5 1 

idly yet smoothly. Soon I was sitting crossed-leg in a black, star-filled 

Each time I breathed in, all the stars and planets in the sky were drawn 
into me by my breath, then as I breathed out they were expelled back 
into the black sky, giving the appearance of being in space. The moment 
I thought of what was happening, I was told this: 

This is what you are developing into, you are becoming without 
limit as soul, and soul is as GOD in likeness. What you are seeing is 
the cosmic breath of GOD. Each breath in destroys creation, each 
one out recreates it. These are the cosmic days and nights of the 
worlds of GOD, known better to you as the Yugas. This again is to 
help you understand better and accept that which you are becom- 

September 15, 1999 - The Role I Am to Play in ECK 

Doing the same exercise as yesterday, as I concentrated on the star, a 
large golden figure emerged from it and sped across the sky. I recogn- 
ised the figure immediately as Mercury, the winged messenger of the 
GODS, and once more the impression that it was the role that I am to 
play in ECKANKAR was given to me. 

November 20, 1999 - On Traveling With Wah Z To A Temple and 
Resolving Inner Doubts 

Doing this month's exercise, today, as yesterday, it started out differ- 
ently. Once more, I was taken by Wah Z to where a large Temple, made 
from crystal, standing at the end of a narrow valley. Leading to the Tem- 
ple, the valley bottom was covered in a fine mud tilth, which we had to 
walk through. As we neared the Temple, the light coming from it grew 
brighter and brighter. I had the impression that the mud I was walking 
through was symbolic of my karma, which was being reduced to a finer 
condition, and the light from the Temple was the light of Spirit of which 
I was now nearing. Before reaching the Temple, I stopped and told Wah 
Z that I would not go any further until both aspects of the path balanced 
out, i.e., the material and the spiritual. Wah Z tried to urge me on, but I 
would not take another step forward. I said that unless I started to see 
both sides of the path working in my life, then I would go no further, 
that, unless I had the belief in what I was doing, I could no longer go 
along with it. Wah Z once more tried to urge me on, and at the same 
time Rebazar Tarzs and the other ECK Masters came and watched to see 
if I would carry on, but I refused, saying at the same time, "If I myself 
have doubts about what I am to teach, I am no more than a hypocrite and 
hypocrisy is false." 

After further urging from Wah Z, I once more said, '"Tis better to stum- 
ble in the darkness of truth than to see clearly in the light of falsehood." 


I then walked away and sat down in contemplation. Here I was soon 
joined by Paul Twitchell, who came and sat with me. I am not sure if all 
this is a test, but as things are, I am not going any further till I feel right 
about them. 

July 12, 2001 - On Traveling to the Temple of ECK with Rebazar 

While in contemplation, I saw myself in a rocky mountain setting. My 
physical size was huge, a hundred feet or more. Below me, I could see 
minute figures of Sri Rebazar Tarzs and Sri Yaubl Sacabi, with a few 
more figures that I did not recognise. I knelt down to touch them, I was 
feeling very embarrassed at seeing myself so large and towering above 
these great Masters. At this point, Rebazar appeared at my side, being 
the same size now as myself, and touching me on the shoulder. He said, 
"Rise up." Then He said, "Do not feel embarrassed with yourself, it is 
only the negative power trying to upset you. Because you, yourself, are 
finding it hard to accept what you are becoming, you are leaving your- 
self open to doubt, this the negative power is using against you. Ignore 
it; accept what has happened to you and where it is going to lead. By 
doing so, the negative's power will be weakened, and its effects on you 
will be reduced." 

Then I found myself with Rebazar, both of us huge in size again. We 
were crouched over the ruins of a Cistercian Abbey, one I'd been to see 
only a few days earlier. Rebazar was brushing his hand over the ruin. 
Beneath his hand, it looked like a model. While doing this, he said, "It is 
not the temples that we need to build, but the devotion that filled them." 

Once more the scene changed, and I found myself at the ECK Temple in 
America. Here I was being shown around the grounds by a group of 
people I knew to be responsible for the running of the Temple. A 
woman came up to me and said, "Do you not think that we have created 
a beautiful temple for GOD, and that HE would be pleased with it?" At 
this point, I saw an ant crawling in the grass. Picking it up, I showed it to 
her and said, "This tiny ant is a greater temple to GOD than one any 
man can build. Within this tiny physical temple is GOD HIMSELF. 
Within the stone temple, there is only the atmosphere of practised devo- 
tion. One contains the essence of devotion the other contains the REAL 
thing. To lose sight of this truth is to be lost in the illusion. When we 
have lost sight of this truth, the temples we build are only adding to the 
illusion, and, though we are building them in our devotion to GOD, they 
are becoming a stumbling block on our path to GOD. They become self- 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 53 

August 8, 2001 (Afternoon sitting) - Why the Journal Must be Sent 
to Sri Harold Klemp 

Asking again for answers to my questions from this morning in regards 
to the Cave of Tomsk, and its purpose that now replaces the site of the 
Oracle of Tirmer at the handing over of the Rod of ECK Power, Sri 
Yaubl Sacabi came through and said, "Due to the worsening effects of 
the conditions in Tibet and the world in general, this ceremony will now 
take place in the inner planes at the Cave of Tomsk." He then went on to 
explain the fourteenth initiation, and why it is to be given, despite Sri 
Harold saying that he will be followed by five or seven ECK Masters of 
the twelfth initiation. Sri Yaubl Sacabi said, "This has been decided to 
be given because of the falling level of power under Sri Harold. It is the 
boost that the movement needs to raise the level up again and enable it 
to go forward into the new phase of development. The difference that 
you are aware of between the inner and outer Master is caused by this, 
the two are no longer in tune with each other. The sending of your jour- 
nal to Sri Harold will be his wake-up call to let him know to prepare to 
stand down. He has been informed that notification will be coming to 
him over this matter. Have no fears; all is well with you." 

After writing this down, I was given the impression of "the Council of 
The Nine." 

August 11, 2001 

Taking the question to the SUGMAD in contemplation of whether 
ECKANKAR should remain calling itself a religion or not, I was given 
the following answer: "MY path is that of truth, the illuminated way as 
spoken of by Paul. ECKANKAR is not, was not, and never will be a 
religion. It is ever changing to meet the needs of humanity's evolving 
consciousness, it is the way of the eternal, the SHARIYAT-KI- SUG- 
MAD." I then asked by what name it could be called in the new phase to 
come, I was given: "ECKANKAR is a Spiritual philosophy in the way 
of the Eternal Light and Sound of GOD." 

September 17, 2001 (Second morning sitting) - On Transference of 
the Rod of ECK Power 

9:00 A.M.: Since the experience of September 15, 2001, when told the 
outer ceremony of the transference of the Rod of ECK Power may not 
take place on the outer, I have been asking why this may be so, though 
for a while, I've had the feeling of knowing the answer. Still asking for 
an answer, I was told: 

The outer ceremony will depend on whether Sri Harold accepts 
what is in front of him. . . . Whether or not he will now recognise 
you as the rightful successor remains to be seen. Irrespective of his 
actions, the inner ceremony will go ahead when the time is right. 


This is one more reason why the ceremony has been changed. 
Whichever way it goes, you are going to have a hard time. . . . 
You will know what to do after the ceremony has taken place, for 
with this will come even greater awareness. I know of your fears, I 
feel them MYSELF; I know of your tears, I weep with you; and yet 
I know of your strength, for what you hold to be true. Others before 
you have feared when called to this work. Yet, by writing this 
down, you have taken a great step forward in its acceptance, you 
have brought into being the truth that you hold inside. To doubt 
yourself is to doubt ME, please never do that, for I am always as 

12:00 Noon: Sitting once more in contemplation, I soon saw myself 
within standing alone. Then the Nine Silent Ones came and formed a 
circle around me, facing me. Then they turned their backs on me and 
joined hands, still forming a circle, with me in the middle. As they did 
this, I was given this impression, "They are looking out for you." After 
this, the experience ended. In this experience, the Nine Silent Ones 
appeared in the form that I've seen them in before. 

October 3, 2001 - On Meeting Chungchok, Spokesperson for Nine 
Silent Ones 

8:30 A.M. Second morning sitting: Over eighteen months ago, I was 
told the name of Chungchok while in contemplation. It was not a name 
for me to use, that I understood inwardly. Though I tried many times to 
get an understanding of this name, nothing came through, so I wrote it 
down on a small piece of paper to keep. After talking with a friend yes- 
terday, I mentioned having this name, though at the time I could not 
recall it properly. Having found the name I'd written down, today I used 
it in contemplation to see if I could find anything about it. 

Going into a sitting using the name Chungchok as my mantra, this expe- 
rience started: Very soon, on the inner, I found myself with the Nine 
Silent Ones. One of them came forward and placed a light blue cloak 
upon me. As He did so, I received the impression that he was Chun- 
gchok, the spokesman for the Nine. Two of the others also came up and 
helped settle the cloak upon me. These Nine were as I've described them 
before; seven to eight feet tall, large almond-shaped heads, long thin 
arms and fingers. The feeling of love and tenderness was overwhelm- 
ing; their touch was the most gentle to experience. Far from being cold 
and aloof, these Beings were love itself 

Through this experience I was moved deeply to tears. While in the expe- 
rience, I asked (by thought) why this was, for I had read that these Silent 
Ones are aloof and distant. Here I was told: 

The nearer to GOD one is, the more one reflects love. 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 55 

After this, the experience ended. I called my friend to tell her of this 
experience. She's been a tower of strength for me through all this, and 
she asked if this Chungchok was the same being as the one called Tom 
in a book she has which talks of the Council of the Nine. After a cup of 
tea and collecting myself, I took this question back into contemplation 
and found myself once more with the Silent Ones. I addressed the One I 
knew as Chungchok, though they all looked alike, and asked him if he 
was Tom from the book that Mary has which mentions this Council of 
Nine. Master Chungchok just bent over to bring his face closer to mine 
and said: 

I am Chungchok, I am Tom, and I am also Graham. I am all that 
there is, and so, dear one, are you, for all is ONE. The use of words, 
by their nature of terminology, causes differentiation. Are not 
words used to describe different things? As soon as words are used 
descriptively, they bring separateness to those who listen without 
the experience of Being and Knowing. You yourself know how 
words fail to convey the Being and Knowing of your own experi- 
ences. That which you put into words is not the greater part of the 
experience, it is only the manifestation of the experience. The 
Being and Knowing that comes from them cannot be described. 
Therefore, to answer your question I must know from which view- 
point you are asking it. If you are asking from the viewpoint of 
Being and Knowing, then, yes, I am Tom. But if you are asking 
from the viewpoint of NOT Being and Knowing, then no, I am not 
that Tom. The answer to this question, as to all questions, lies in the 
understanding of the questioner. With Being and Knowing, there is 
only the ONE; without understanding there is separateness. 
Now I'll ask you a question: what answer would you have me give 
you that would not cause separateness and yet all could under- 
stand? Each plane to some degree reflects the truth of the plane 
above it. Passing through each plane, one eventually comes to the 
Reality of the Reflected Image. You, my dear one, see the True and 
Real Image; others see only the reflection. But the reflection can 
only exist because of the Real Image. And to the degree of its 
reflection it exists. Now does this answer your question without 
causing separateness? 

After saying these words, the experience ended. 

October 6, 2001 - The Nine Silent Ones on Temples and other Con- 

Trying to find an answer to the question about the Nine Silent Ones, the 
host of Silent Travellers spoken of in ECKANKAR, and also the Coun- 
cil of Nine mentioned in books outside the teachings of ECKANKAR, I 
found myself unable to sleep. Going downstairs to sit in contemplation, 
still nothing came through. At about 8:15 A.M., I started to sit again. 


this time asking Master Chungchok for his help. The Master came 
through and said: 

Within this host of Silent Travellers, as spoken of in ECKANKAR, 
this Council of Nine exists, they are the Nine Silent Ones. There 
has been a mystical connotation put into all this that has damaged 
the simple truth concerning us. The Council of Nine and the Nine 
Silent Ones are the same. There is nothing mysterious about this 
Council and it is not separate from all the other Silent Travellers. 
Let us remove the mystery and see the truth for what it is. Like any 
large organisation, there are managing directors, managers, assis- 
tant managers, foremen, and charge hands, to name but a few of 
your word titles, that help in the over all running of a company. On 
the same principle, we Silent Ones carry out our role. This Council 
of Nine, or the Nine Silent Ones, depending on your understanding, 
is not an elite body selected for their superior ability above the rest. 
We voluntarily take on the role of being a part of this Council 
purely to help in the running of things. At any time, any one of us 
can withdraw from this Council and his place is filled by another 
Silent Traveller who, as of his own free will, offered to help in this 
way. As in the structure of a large company, there are those at the 
top and those at the bottom. 

The decisions taken at the top are passed down through the differ- 
ent levels of managerial staff until they are received at the lowest 
level. Hence, the decisions at the top are reflected at the bottom to a 
certain degree, and in varying degrees as it passes through each 
level of management. This is what I meant when I explained to you 
that each plane reflects to some degree the truth of the plane above 
it and, in its reflection, there is a reality. Where we differ in our 
structure to that of a human one is that we see each other as equals, 
no matter what role or position each one of us may hold. We take on 
these roles of our own free will. There is no top manager or bottom 
labourer, we know we are all ONE, and treat each other accord- 
ingly. We are open to all of creation, and whatever understanding 
and belief. We serve GOD by serving HIS creation that creation 
may know its CREATOR. There is no need for any mystery to sur- 
round us; we are here to serve and to serve lovingly all that is. 

Master Chungchok then said: 

May I also take this opportunity to dispel another wrongly veiled 
mystery? There are no Temples of Golden Wisdom as written in 
some teachings. These so-called Temples are only schools of learn- 
ing open to all who can enter them according to their ability. These 
schools are not hidden or secret in the mystical sense of the word. It 
is simply that until one is able to enter a school, one cannot attend 
it. You have the same principle in your world. In the inner worlds, 
these schools (FOR ALL) have their own vibratory field which pre- 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 57 

vents them from being seen by those not of the same vibratory 

The schools you visited as caves in the lower worlds until Rebazar 
showed you the true reality behind this fascia; it was an easy way to 
show you how until one is tuned into the same vibratory field of 
these schools one cannot see them. But this is not a mystery; it is 
the natural law that works throughout all of creation. Temple or 
school, pick the name for them that suits you, but do not wrap them 
in mystery to help endorse a teaching. Rather, unwrap them in the 
light of understanding that all may know of them and, by whatever 
path, teaching or way they choose to come, let them come and learn 
of their CREATOR and their oneness with all. 

At this point, it finished, and I went to answer nature's call. While tend- 
ing to nature. Master Chungchok came back and said: 

Let us call these Temples and schools "Centres of Learning for 
All." This way, no teaching can limit access to them through their 
own practises. A teaching, as also the teacher, is there to remove 
limitations not impose them, though certain practises have to be 
followed to enable one to go beyond limits. 

This now raised another question, so sitting in the afternoon I asked this: 
"If the inner teacher is Xanxangme and not Sri Harold, why then was I 
not shown these things in the light of what is now being explained?" I 
was answered: 

It kept things within the idiom of the teaching of ECKANKAR and 
helped to spin the mystical intrigue. Being within the teachings as 
they are, and now seeing them in a truer light, you are in a better 
position to understand the confusion that many in this teaching will 
find themselves in. 

October 8, 2001 - The Rod of ECK Power and Mahanta 

Given while in contemplation. I had not asked any questions to start this 

Paul Twitchell's sudden death was not untimely from the point of 
view of spirit. It was brought about on purpose to end the falsity of 
what he had started. Twitchell had the ability to lead, but he let him- 
self get in the way. . . . Becoming unbalanced is a sign of not being 
able to cope with what is coming through, and that too much is 
coming through shows a lack of inner guidance and control from 
whoever is supposed to be the guide. 

Anyone can open up to spirit but to do this in a proper way and 
unfold according to one's ability is best done under a true teacher. 


He himself knows what to give the seeker the exposure to and in 
what quantity so that a balance is always maintained. The truth that 
could have been behind ECKANKAR is ebbing away, many are 
aware of this already. One more myth can now go, there is no such 
thing as the Rod of ECK Power. As you have rightly said, all true 
Masters are ONE. This so-called Mahanta consciousness is just one 
more write up, woven into the ECKANKAR teachings by Twitch- 

Before you ask me, I know what your next question is going to be, 
and I have my answer here for you: you were given the experiences 
with the so-called Rod of ECK Power because it was written into 
the teachings. If we had laid all this on you from the start, your bal- 
ance would have gone, hence, as true to spirituality under a true 
teacher, it was given a step at a time to unfold your ability to accept 
it all, for there is a lot to have to accept. 

After this experience, I asked who it was that was speaking to me, for I 
had no impression of any personality or name. Asking this, I was 

You need names and personalities after all this? Where is your one- 
ness with all? That which is speaking to you is nothing more than 
your own true inner self, the ONE in ALL. Call it that still, inner 
voice of GOD, or a known Master, or one unknown, it is THE ALL 
in THE ONE, therefore all the same. Call this inner voice Xanx- 
angme if you like, or Rebazar Tarzs, or Chungchok. Whatever 
name you give to it, it is still YOU when understood from the high- 
est view. But I understand the need to explain this to others, so tell 

I am the voice of the GOD that you are and the voice of the GOD all 
others shall be. Remember, whatever names or personalities used in 
teaching others to help them understand more easily the ways of 
spirit, the names and personalities should be understood to be THE 
ONE in ALL. 

Reflections on the Journal 

While we waited for a response from the Living Eck Master, I had 
many discussions with Graham about his journal. I considered him to 
be sincere and was convinced of his belief in these experiences. As I 
had expressed in my first letter to Harold, in which I introduced the 
journal and explained my decision to send it to him, its contents 
deserved review by the Living Eck Master. There were many ques- 
tions, however, that I intended to place before Graham. 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 59 

Inner Experiences Geared to the Individual's Needs 

In some respects, the records of Graham's inner experiences 
sounded self-serving, with innumerable platitudes about his position in 
the spiritual worlds and the role he was to play in Eckankar. But it was 
not the self-serving passages that were troubling. Every person's inner 
experiences are woven out of the fabric of present and past life experi- 
ences and consist of what is needed to move them along the path to 
God. Graham's apparent lack of confidence in some of his experiences 
and in the role that he was to play obviously called for the kind of 
embellishment and platitudes that he received. Rather, it was the con- 
flict between these statements and his earlier inner guidance regarding 
the equal nature and oneness of all souls that was disturbing. 

Each person is a spark of God and possesses all of the attributes of 
the divine. However, when one begins to see or be seen in a compara- 
tive way, a hierarchy is constructed that is contrary to the idea of plac- 
ing no one above or below another soul. Ultimately, Graham faithfully 
recorded what he heard and observed. He was aware that others would 
be highly skeptical of his work and was diligent in testing and record- 
ing everything as accurately as he could. 

Graham would sometimes have two or three multi-hour meditation 
sessions per day. Having been injured on the job some years earlier, he 
received government support for his medical condition, allowing him 
to pursue his spiritual path. So, as we have seen, every negative has its 
corresponding positive: Graham's injury gave him the time to devote to 
his spiritual study and meditation. I knew firsthand of the impact that 
devoting concentrated amounts of time on meditation could have on 
inner experiences. 

As discussed earlier, I was enthralled by Paul's stories in The 
Tiger 's Fang. I purchased every book I could find on the subject and 
followed their instructions. I was eventually drawn out of my body and 
propelled into the inner worlds for hours on end. The experiences I had 
and the lessons I learned laid the foundation for my understanding of 
the inner truths and the role I was to play as one of the major speakers 
in the teaching of Eckankar. It is therefore not surprising that Graham 
would have these experiences — and in the frequency and degree he 
described. Few have the opportunity to dedicate the amount of time and 


concentration to spiritual development that Graham was able to devote. 
This was not an accident; Graham's writings have been the catalyst 
behind this book as well as for a sequence of events that will result in 
another channel for spiritual truth in the world. 

On Achieving God-Realization 

Another question posed to Graham dealt with an important aspect 
of Eckankar doctrine, which holds that no one could have the God- 
Realization experience except through the Mahanta, the Living Eck 
Master. I asked Graham that if this were true, how could he have had 
the God-Realization experience with his former Master that his journal 
describes? The answer to this question was to be revealed more clearly 
in the weeks and months following the transmittal of his journal to the 
Living Eck Master. 

Eckankar books offer contradictory positions on this issue. While it 
is clearly Eckankar doctrine, as expressed in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, 
that God-Realization can be achieved only through the Mahanta, the 
Living Eck Master, Paul's earlier writings express a contrary view: 

No ECK Master will retain his former relationship with a neophyte after 
the latter has become skilled in Soul Travel and has been established on 
the Fifth Plane, the plane of pure Soul.'^ 

Supporting this view, Paul explicitly states that the role of the Mas- 
ter is to aid the individual to the level of the fifth plane, from which 
they will negotiate the remainder of the journey by themselves. Paul 
later points out that when consciousness has been expanded to the point 
where the individual can perceive the inner worlds of God and tran- 
scend time and space: 

[W]e will no longer need the Spiritual Traveler as a constant compan- 
ion. He is then able to release us to our own responsibility and help oth- 
ers who are struggling to gain a foothold in the spiritual worlds. We are 
then on our own. . . . We are in the state of Self-Realization, and nothing 
is able to stop us from reaching the highest realm, which is God-Real- 
ization. "^ 

Therefore, contrary to some parts of Eckankar doctrine but consis- 
tent with others, an individual can reach God-Realization without the 
intercession of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. This is apparently 
how Graham, even under Eckankar doctrine, was able to have had this 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 61 

experience prior to coming to Eckankar. It is also important to bear in 
mind that Darwin Gross was only a second initiate before becoming the 
second Living Eck Master. 

Why did Graham Join Eckankar? 

One of the tougher questions I posed to Graham was, if he had the 
God-Realization experience, why did he join Eckankar in the first 
place? After all, Eckankar was created as a path to lead soul to Self 
Realization, God-Realization, and to becoming a co-worker with God. 
Since Graham believed that he had already achieved God-Realization, 
why join? Equally, why would his spiritual master turn him over to the 
Living Eck Master? 

His response to these questions was not immediately clear. He later 
revealed that, as his experiences in Eckankar grew, it became increas- 
ingly evident to him that he had been led to Eckankar because of a mis- 
sion he chose or had been chosen to perform. This mission was 
revealed to him more clearly in the latter part of 200 1 . The first step in 
that process was to transmit his journal to the Living Eck Master. That 
is when our paths crossed. 

Graham acknowledged that the fulfillment of his mission in Eckan- 
kar would only be possible if the Living Eck Master accepted the con- 
tent of his journal. If not, then he believed his mission would take a 
different direction. 

One of the more curious parts in Graham's journal (not included in 
this book) was a letter of resignation from Eckankar written in Novem- 
ber of 1999. How, I would ask, could he consider, and in fact initiate, a 
resignation from Eckankar in light of the mission he believed he was 
being prepared to complete? Further, why would he, no longer a mem- 
ber of Eckankar, ask me to present these materials to the Mahanta, the 
Living Eck Master? 

Graham determined to resign because he felt that the teaching was 
too restrictive. Yet, after a brief hiatus in his inner journeys, he soon 
had experiences that challenged him to accept the mission. As his jour- 
nal subsequently reveals, he changed his mind on leaving Eckankar 
altogether and continued his training and preparation for what he 
believed to be his mission. 


Having made the change on the inner, Graham overlooked the need 
to reverse his action in the outer. I suggested that he immediately apply 
for reinstatement so that he would be an active member. After consider- 
ing the suggestion, he reapplied, and again became an active member 

I asked Graham what accounted for several gaps in the recording of 
his spiritual experiences, which sometimes lasted for months. He 
revealed that, after periods of receiving great insight and new spiritual 
energy, he often went through hiatuses, which allowed the lessons and 
the energies to be absorbed. In this discussion, however, he revealed an 
interesting additional point: that these experiences tended to come to 
him, rather than him creating them or projecting into them — the oppo- 
site of the inner journey as we normally understand it. I asked Graham 
whether or not he had received the inner training preparing him to work 
directly and consciously with chelas in the inner worlds and take them 
on journeys into spirit. He indicated that he had not, and that he did not 
at that moment feel capable of consciously projecting into the inner 
worlds of others at their invitation. 

Implications of Contact with the Nine Silent Ones 

Perhaps the most striking and important parts of Graham's journal 
are his encounters with the Nine Silent Ones. Without this phase in his 
spiritual unfolding, the inner worlds and the masters of Paul's universe 
would not have been revealed so dramatically. Chungchok's revela- 
tions about Paul's demise, the fabrication of the Rod of Eck Power, and 
Paul's invention of the concept of the Mahanta, strike at the very heart 
ofEckankar doctrine. 

Equally remarkable in his account of the Nine Silent Ones is the 
dramatic elevation in content and tone. I was curious as to whether the 
revelations about Eckankar, its diminished power, its mistaken focus 
on temple building, and its movement towards a doctrinal religious 
organization, reflected what Graham felt about Eckankar or whether 
they were independent observations of a highly evolved soul in the per- 
sonage of Chungchok. I asked Graham if he had heard about these 
issues before and also if he shared these opinions at the time he tran- 
scribed Chungchok's observations. The issue was whether these inner 

The Spiritual Journal of Graham Forsyth 63 

experiences merely reflected information and opinions that he already 
held, albeit from an ostensibly unimpeachable source. 

He responded that he did in fact have questions and doubts. He had 
perceived a vast difference between the inner master and the outer mas- 
ter. This was evidenced most strikingly in the thin content of Harold's 
writings, in contrast to the wisdom expressed by Wah Z in the inner. 
Yet, Graham stressed that what came through from Chungchok was 
new and for the most part outside his knowledge of Eckankar. He was 
of the view that Harold would recognize what was being said by the 
Nine Silent Ones. Graham had been told that Harold was informed, on 
the inner, of the contents of his journal, and that it would be forthcom- 

The revelations of Chungchok, transcribed by Graham, were mon- 
umental in their implications for Eckankar. For this reason alone, his 
journal had to be brought to the Master's attention. As a High Initiate in 
Eckankar who had been contacted for assistance to deliver this journal 
to Harold, it was my responsibility to see that the Mahanta received it. 

This page intentionally left blank. 



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Chapter 5 — The Master Replies 

Harold Klemp's Response to Me 

Having sent the materials from the U.S. directly to the Living Eck 
Master at Eckankar headquarters in Minnesota, I was the first to 
receive a response. Here is Harold's letter to me. 


« ■' 

ECKANKAR • RO. BM2730D - Minneapolis. Minnesota 5M27 

I9S2) 3S0-22C(I • Fax t9SS) 380-22:95 • www, 

November 21. 2001 

Ford T. Johnson 

Dedc Foidj 

tt causes me pain to see a higher initiate of ECK fall ior such an old trick of K.1I. 
The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master arranges for the announcement of his 
successor- No one else. 

You are to stand aside from all ECK duties for six months. This includes 
sei^ice as an ECK ArahaCi). Initiator, ESA, and alt other ECK ofl^iws, 

[n the meantime, to regain a solid footing in the teachings of ECK, you would 
do well to make a study of The Simriyat-Ki-SHgmad, Books One and Two. At t!ie 
end of this sixmonth period of spiritual discipline, your future duties in ECK will 
receive a careful review. 

You will Temaln a higher inltiale if you undertake this discipline. 

With love snd spiritual blessings. 


Rfll^Jon o[ ttie Up^t and Sound of Gnd 


After reading the letter carefully, I phoned Graham at midnight, 
England time. His son answered the phone, and soon Graham, drowsy 
but eager, got on to hear the verdict. 

His first reaction was one of pain and hurt, not for the rejection of 
his work, but because of the action Harold had taken against me, for 
which he felt responsible. He certainly did not want to see anything 
harmful come to me for transmitting his journal. The following morn- 
ing, at a more reasonable hour, I contacted Mary and eventually Lisa to 
let them know Harold's response and to find out if they had received 
anything themselves. They had not, probably due to delays in the mail. 
Because they had been mentioned in Graham's letter to Harold, they 
expected to hear something, either directly or through Graham. 

Harold's response didn't shock me, nor did the discipline he 
imposed. I had been in a similar situation before and received a compa- 
rable discipline. But the brevity of his letter and his silence on the con- 
tent of the journal surprised me. There was little explanation for my 
discipline, at least none that would help me, a chela, to understand the 
spiritual lesson I was expected to learn. 

In a way, I think that Graham was relieved. He had followed his 
inner direction to present the journal to Harold, and that was all he felt 
"compelled" to do. He had already been told (through his inner experi- 
ences) that, either way, he would have a hard time. If Harold had relin- 
quished his position, it would have been Graham's responsibility to 
reform Eckankar by correcting its falsities and distortions, a job Harold 
had actually started but, for whatever reasons, did not complete. But 
that is a subject for later chapters. 

Prior to sending Graham's journal to Harold, I thought that, as a 
spiritual master who had traveled with Graham on the inner, he was 
aware of his spiritual encounters with Graham. Certainly, I thought, if 
Harold focused on them, he would recall them, see the truth in Gra- 
ham's journal, and defer to the inner direction it contained. The possi- 
bility was not far-fetched. Darwin Gross, the previous Living Eck 
Master, had apparently stepped aside upon receiving inner nudges and 
a letter from Harold, which he read on stage before introducing him as 
the new Living Eck Master. I am sure that Darwin had other motives 

The Master Replies 69 

(after all, he retained the Mahantaship), but he nonetheless gave way to 
the new Living Eck Master. 

Not so in Harold's case. No journal, not even one with admonitions 
from the Nine Silent Ones, would get him to give it serious thought. 
The mystery of why Harold did not recall his presence in Graham's 
inner experiences and rejected them as the Kal (in spite of the protec- 
tion from such deceptions that is his avowed mission to provide), 
would, as events unfolded, become clear. 

A Closer Look at the Letter 

The first thing that struck me about Harold's letter was its focus on 
his position in Eckankar. Despite being the Mahanta, the Living Eck 
Master, responsible for the spiritual welfare of Eckists, he expressed no 
concern, spiritual or otherwise, for those who brought the journal to his 
attention in good faith. Second, there was no mention of the extensive 
spiritual experiences that ordinarily suggests remarkable development 
in a chela. The letter was solely about himself, strictly speaking, about 
his position in the organization. 

The letter was highly accusatory and expressed disappointment for 
my failure to recognize an apparently obvious Kal (negative) trick. But 
what was the Kal trick? The only clue Harold provided was that only 
"the Living ECK Master arranges for the announcement of his succes- 
sor." Was Harold saying that, because I had sent the journal, I had 
somehow announced a successor? Or was he saying that, because the 
journal referred to the possibility of someone else becoming the Mah- 
anta, this constituted an announcement? Was the Kal trick the fact that 
someone presumed to raise the question of a successor? Or was it my 
decision that Graham's journal had sufficient merit to send it to Harold 
in the first place? 

As to succession, the founder of Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, had 
written in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad that only the Living Eck Master 
named his successor. This was apparently the reference that Harold 
used as the basis of his decision that the journal was a Kal trick. Yet, 
succession after Paul did not follow this rule. Paul died suddenly, with- 
out naming a successor. Several months later, his wife, apparently in 
the dream state, was told the identity of the new Living Eck Master. 
Thus, by the standard Harold was applying, Gail Twitchell's dream 


must have been a Kal trick also, since it was an announcement made by 
someone other than the Living Eck Master. 

As to the rejection of the deeper and more profound content of the 
journal, Harold's response was also confusing and his intentions 
unclear. Graham and I discussed it at length and ended with the opinion 
that the letter rejected the content of his journal and made a smooth 
transition of power impossible. 

Because I was genuinely confused about the scope and intent of 
Harold's letter, I immediately began writing a response. As I did, I con- 
sidered taking his statement at face value rather than risk reading some- 
thing into it. He often gave very short and vague answers to questions. I 
never knew if he felt the answer was complete or if he meant to leave 
the person with something to ponder. But soon, another interpretation 
occurred to me. What if Harold was only concerned with the manner 
the information was brought to him, namely, that / presented it to him 
rather than Graham himself? If I had not been involved, it would have 
given Harold the opportunity to announce a succession himself, with- 
out third-party interference. Given the terseness of Harold's reply, it 
was possible to interpret it as focusing on the manner of presentation 
rather than the substance of Graham's work. I called Graham, Mary, 
and Lisa to offer my interpretation and to encourage everyone to be 
patient and not to react in anger or haste. I thought it was altogether 
possible that the Living Eck Master wanted to establish an independent 
line of communication with Graham. Although we thought this a possi- 
bility, no one thought it realistic. Nonetheless, everyone agreed to give 
it more time, to be neutral, and to wait and see what events transpired. 

I proceeded to write my letter to Harold, as there were pressing 
issues on a range of responsibilities and obligations I had undertaken 
on behalf of Eckankar that required resolution. They were likely to 
change in light of my discipline. I communicated these and other con- 
cerns to the Living Eck Master in November 2001 . 

Because timing was so sensitive, I contacted one of Harold's assis- 
tants to ask if I could fax the letter. I had been invited to speak and 
already had scheduled a trip to Africa for a Regional Seminar in Port 
Harcourt, Nigeria in early December 2001 — there simply wasn't 
enough time to use the mail. I requested that she contact the Living Eck 

The Master Replies 71 

Master to see if I should complete this obligation in light of the disci- 
pline. Here is my letter: 

November 30, 2001 

Dear Sri Harold, 

Thank you for your letter of November 21.1 will of course step aside 
from outer activities in ECKANKAR as you have directed. I feel noth- 
ing but love for you and for the ECK and ECKANKAR and never wish 
to do anything to cause harm or distress to anyone. 

While I respect any decision that you make or discipline that you may 
direct, I request that you bear with me for a moment while I communi- 
cate my confusion about your decision. Almost 20 years ago, when Dar- 
win had taken ECKANKAR materials to Oregon and I traveled there to 
ask him to return them and to end the discord that was tearing the orga- 
nization apart, I wrote you a letter that expressed my conviction that 
Darwin, at least at that moment, seemed to want to work things out. I 
believe that subsequent to that, he did return the materials. The point of 
my bringing this up now is that my communication to you about that trip 
resulted in your imposing a similar discipline when you asked me at that 
time to step aside from the outer works. I believe that you felt that he 
had duped me and that I was somehow under his domination. This con- 
clusion was totally incorrect, as I saw Darwin for what he was: someone 
who would draw the attention of the chelas away from their search for 
God to a selfish focus on himself and all the "wrongs" that he thought 
were being perpetuated against him. 

Your sense that I was under his influence was incorrect, though at the 
time I understand [sic] your caution. However, the experience and the 
discipline were very useful as it taught me that the Mahanta the Living 
ECK Master is the heart and soul of ECKANKAR and not the outer 
organization, which was my misplaced motivation for going in the first 

You assume here that I have "fallen" for this Kal trick. I have fallen for 
nothing except my sense of duty that you needed to see these materials 
and make your own judgment. This chela (Graham) followed the dis- 
courses that you sent him; practiced the spiritual exercises that you rec- 
ommended; had numerous spiritual experiences (that you want us to 
have) and faithfully recording [sic] them. His experiences with Wah Z 
and the other ECK Masters are those that most chelas long to have. So 
when you say that it "pains you" that I would fall for this Kal trick, I am 
puzzled. Are you saying that the totality of his experiences, as recorded 
in these writings, are of the Kal — even though he tested them with the 
very words that you gave him to test them with? Or are you saying that 
only that part of his experiences that deal with statements about his pos- 


sible role as the Mahanta are the Kal trick because only "The Living 
ECK Master arranges for the announcement of his successor?" Or is any 
communication to the Mahanta about succession, from any "outside" 
source, the trick of the Kal about which you are speaking? Certainly my 
sending the materials to you was not intended as an announcement. 
Indeed it was precisely because of the sensitivity of the materials that I 
undertook to bring them to your attention in the first place. I had scrupu- 
lously not discussed or shown these materials to anyone, not even my 
wife, Mary. 

Graham did not know how to get these materials to you and that is why 
I was asked to do so. Aside from the two His in England that he initially 
contacted to seek assistance in getting these materials to you, no one 
else has seen them. Thus, no announcement of any kind has been made. 
As you rightly point out, that is not my role and I do not seek it nor have 
I attempted to undertake it. 

I don't know if Graham considered the recording of his experiences as 
an announcement either. I think he felt, rightly or wrongly, that he had 
been directed to place them in front of you and that you would make any 
announce [sic] that you saw fit. If you did not, then you would reject 
them, as apparently you have. And that is fine; you are in the best posi- 
tion to judge the validity of his experiences as they relate to ECKAN- 
KAR. It is not my place to assess the truth or validity of these writings, 
especially as they pertain to the Mahantaship, which is why they were 
presented to you. Is there some fixed law about the manner in which 
such information should come to the Living ECK Master? I had always 
thought that the Living Word was dynamic and certainly not subject to 
any fixed limitations as might be stated or implied in Paul Twitchell's 
rendering of the Shariyat Ki Sugmad. 

Sometimes it is the fate of the messenger to get shot. And I accept that 
fate if that is what you choose. But please do not confuse my sense of 
obligation to bring these materials to your attention, and keep them con- 
fidential, with my unquestioned acceptance of them. As soul, searching 
for truth, I do not close the door to any source but question and explore 
all input until I arrive at what is truth for me. Whatever is the succession 
of Mastership in ECKANKAR is a matter between you and the other 
ECK Masters. Keeping these materials confidential and bringing them 
to your attention, as I was asked to do, is precisely what I thought you 
would have wanted me to do. 

On a more practical note, I am slated to go to Nigeria on Tuesday Dec. 
4th to speak at the Regional Seminar. Needless to say, much preparation 
has gone into this and tickets and all arrangements are in place. There is 
also a Seminar in Chicago in January that has involved much publicity 
and effort on the part of the chelas in 111. I am solid with the ECK and 
the ECK teachings. I read the Shariyat constantly and have been teach- 
ing a class on the Shariyat. I know that you are the Mahanta the Living 

The Master Replies 73 

ECK Master, and I will continue to love and serve in any way that I can 
when I am allowed to. For now, I accept your discipline if you feel that 
this is best. I would like to be advised, however, on how best to handle 
this situation and what to say in canceling the many speaking engage- 
ment to which I have already agreed. Telling them that I have been 
asked to step aside does not trouble me. But to do so would raise many 
questions and create some confusion. It is not my intention or need to 
draw attention to myself 

There are many other Regionals and workshops that were planned latter 
[sic] in 2002. I can complete them and make no more commitments or I 
can cancel them. The Africa and Chicago trips are so close that they 
would create some real problems for the areas. I will call S to tell her of 
this verbally on Friday, as I need an answer rather quickly. 

Finally, all that is important is one's love and commitment to serve Sug- 
mad. I have no interest in titles or public acclaim. They are the most 
gross of illusions. I am comfortable with whatever you decide, because I 
control my love and my dedication to Sugmad and the ECK, and noth- 
ing from outside of me can or will affect that. 

Yours in ECK, 
Ford Johnson 

Further Communications with the Mahanta 

Harold's assistant called me the same day and indicated that I 
should proceed to the Nigerian Seminar and also complete the one in 
Chicago. After that, I should consider the discipline in effect. We dis- 
cussed the impact of my pulling out of local activities in light of the fact 
I had conducted worship services twice monthly for many years. I was 
also concerned about keeping my word regarding future commitments. 
She suggested I say I was stepping aside "for personal reasons." I reluc- 
tantly agreed but felt uncomfortable about disingenuous language to 
explain my absence. The more I thought about it, the more uncomfort- 
able I felt. Saying I had stepped aside for personal reasons, aside from 
being untrue, would misrepresent events. My departure from local 
activities would raise questions that I wanted to address honestly. 

I wrote another letter to the Living Eck Master about these con- 
cerns but held off mailing it until I reflected more on the matter. There 
remained the possibility that Harold would establish independent com- 
munication with Graham. If my discipline was the price for this, then 


no letter would have been necessary. I was prepared to fall on my 
sword if my discipline was a way of getting me out of the picture. 
These factors suggested that I should wait before saying or doing any- 
thing more. After all, I would be out of the country for a week or more, 
and there was no rush to communicate all of this to local chelas. I still 
had to complete the African Seminar and the one in Chicago. I put the 
matter on hold and prepared for my trip. 

During the seminar in Africa, I had time to consider the events of 
the preceding weeks and my possible response, but I was still troubled 
by Harold's reaction and its implications. While I saw benefits from the 
discipline — finally, I would have time to finish the books I had started 
— I did not understand Harold's reasoning. His actions were contrary 
to a key pronouncement in Eckankar taken from Paul's Dialogues with 
the Master. 

The true teachings do not discipline in anyway [sic]] do not set up duties 
or difficulties or tasks for teaching their disciples lessons or developing 
traits or good character.... They only ask that their word be heard and 
obeyed. Their mission on earth is to gather up Souls to be taken home 
again. ^ 

When, at the Second Initiation, the chela is fully accepted into the 
teaching, the master promises he will never leave her, no matter what 
she may say or do. Indeed, the master proclaims that he is as close as 
her heartbeat, as near as her own breath. Yet Harold was pulling away. 
Or was he pushing me out the door? 

I had seen Harold use his power before, especially when he felt his 
position was threatened. Darwin Gross, the previous Living Eck Mas- 
ter, once openly challenged Harold's position as leader of Eckankar, 
even after having given up the position and naming Harold the new 
Living Eck Master. For this act (and others, as we shall see), he was 
summarily excommunicated from the teaching and from the venerable 
order of Vairagi Masters. If this is what Harold did to a former Living 
Eck Master and Mahanta, clearly he was not afraid to use his power 
against anyone. I was not taking odds on my chances of withstanding 
his wrath if I did not get in line. 

In spite of misgivings, I decided to make another attempt at honest, 
respectful communication with Harold. Perhaps he would help me to 

The Master Replies 75 

understand what I was to learn from these events. Up to that point, it 
made little sense, except as an act of control. Discipline is an act of 
love, intended to teach the student lessons that will enable him to learn, 
grow, and expand spiritual awareness. But for a discipline to be effec- 
tive, its basis must be understood. The explanation that only the Living 
Eck Master can name his successor was not only superficial, but also 
suspiciously vague. Nonetheless, I chose to ask again. 

I was not optimistic about receiving a response. In my experience, 
it was Harold's policy not to answer questions. Rather, he would "leave 
it up to spirit" to teach the needed lesson. Here is my second letter to 

Sri Harold Klemp 

The Mahanta the Living Eck Master 

Ford Johnson 
December 17, 2001 

Dear Harold, 

This letter is a follow up to my discussion with S on Friday, Nov. 31. 
Since then I have completed the Nigerian Regional at which F took over 
from J. There were some rough spots, but over all everything was 
smoothed out, and each person has assumed their new roles. My under- 
standing is that I am to proceed to complete Chicago, which is in Janu- 
ary, and then step aside from other speaking engagements. 

Accordingly, I am writing a letter to the RESA, K that will be delivered 
shortly. I will formally resign from all outer positions as you have 
directed, which include the positions of Spiritual Services Coordinator 
in Washington, DC, Clergy for the second and fourth Sunday services 
each month, the Shariyat Ki Sugmad class that has been ongoing for 
more than one year, in addition to the numerous speaking engagements 
that had been planned for the coming year. 

While I believe that I am as grounded in the ECK works as anyone in 
ECKANKAR, I shall never the less respect your request, and I will in 
fact study the Shariyat Ki Sugmad in even more detail and more closely 
than before. I must admit that I am still as confused about your decision 
today as the day I received your letter. I have raised the questions that 
your decision gave rise to in my last letter to you (attached). I suspect 
that I will be left to ponder the answers to these questions on my own 
(though a little help would be much appreciated). 


The only aspect of the situation that I feel most uncomfortable about is 
S's suggestion to me to simply say, when asked why I am stepping 
aside, that it is for "personal reasons." Such an answer would be disin- 
genuous if not simply untrue. I find it hard to believe that this sugges- 
tion came from you as opposed to S's attempt to be helpful in answering 
a question that I had posed in my last letter to you. Such an answer 
would imply that I am stepping aside voluntarily for reasons that I have 
determined out of my own free will. This would simply not be the truth 
and I would feel dishonest saying it. I have no problem with the disci- 
pline, but I do have a problem with not telling the truth. This answer 
might even give the impression that I am angry or upset with Eckankar 
or even that I have stepped off of the path. None of this would be the 
truth, and that is why I do not believe that this is the best way to explain 
the situation. 

On the other hand, I have no intent to make a big thing of this. I simply 
want to be honest while protecting the sensitive content of what is at the 
heart of this matter. Accordingly, I would prefer to indicate, if asked or 
if required to give a reason (in the case of speaking engagements that I 
will have to break) that I was asked by the Living ECK Master to: 

"Stand aside from all ECK duties for six months. This includes ser- 
vice as an ECK Arahata, Initiator, ESA and all other ECK offices." 

To the extent that it should become necessary to answer the question, 
why did this happened? I will only explain that: 

"in delivering some written materials from a chela about his spiri- 
tual experiences, the Master felt that I had fallen for 'an old trick of 
Kal' and that such discipline was in order." 

This is the truth, and while confusing, it is the reality of the situation and 
the truth about what happened. I sincerely hope that this approach 
meets with your approval. If I have misread your intent or would be 
violating some other principle not known to me, I sincerely ask that you 
let me know. 

I have preliminarily discussed this matter with my RESA who is con- 
cerned about the impact on chelas in the area, since I have never, in 
more than 25 years, voluntarily been inactive for any reason. Also, I 
have always lived by the principle, you have stressed, "Do what you say 
you are going to do." The discipline that you have instituted will not 
permit me to do this, with regards to the many ECK speaking engage- 
ments world wide that I had accepted. I have not yet informed them but 
will do so upon the completion of this round of communications. 

The Master Replies 77 

As I was trying to learn more about discipline, from an ECK perspec- 
tive, I ran across this passage in Dialogues with the Master page 172. I 
think that it bears directly on this situation: 

The true teachings do not discipline in anyway; do not set up duties 
or difficulties or tasks for teaching their disciples lessons or devel- 
oping traits or good character, are not bothered with good or evil, 
neither will they care to [sic^ much about the love of their disciple. 
They only ask that their word be heard and obeyed. Their mission 
on earth is to gather up Souls to be taken home again. 

I am trying to hear, learn and obey the lesson but I simply do [not] 
understand what it is. I have spelled out the questions in my last letter 
(attached), the answers to which I have not been able to discern. Obvi- 
ously, you know the answers, since it was your decision and reaction to 
the materials that I sent that prompted the discipline. 

Harold, you have complete power with respect to Eckankar and the 
course of a chela's spiritual life in Eckankar. When you take the kind of 
action that you have taken, without explanation, it only promotes fear; 
fear of losing love; fear of losing ones standing with the person who 
matters most; and fear of the consequences of being honest with that 
person about everything. I can take the discipline, which is easy. But, at 
least help me to understand. 

I am asking that you reconsider your decision. I do not believe that it 
serves my interest or the interest of the whole for me to sit in the corner 
for six months. Quite the contrary, I believe that it will confuse and hurt 
many more people than me, especially because confusion leads to fear. 
However, if on reflection you still think that this is in order, then I shall 
certainly comply and will do so willingly. 

If I do not hear further from you or S, then I will continue forward with 
breaking my engagements and informing the appropriate people that I 
am stepping aside, as you have directed. 

Love in ECK, 
Ford Johnson 

The Master's Response to Graham 

Upon returning from Africa, I was eager to talk to Graham. I 
arrived into Dulles Airport late, so I waited until the next morning to 
call. Upon talking with him, I was surprised and disappointed at the 
Master's response to him. It speaks for itself: 




ECKANKAR • POBm 27300 ■ M1nn«ipoU*. Mlmvaola SWi7 

(9A2J SgO-aam • Fw (BB3) 390 3a!)» • www.«:iiwlUr.nrjl 

tiavemtxT 21,2001 
Graham Forayth 


[n mipunfic tt> your tetter rikI (aurnol of inner cxperiencci which ted you b> 
think you hsvfl recdved the Rod of ECK Power. You h»ve not. 

Ymir inaMnctx were right not to believe thu. The ECal inialed you. 

IMs Kap]>ccui more often than one would cane to believe. People who fall for 
thia trick and mislead ottwrs off the Path 0/ ECK become responibLble fof the kgrnut. 

As i Epiritu)) discipline you tie pui bscV to the Fkat CinJe of Initiation and are 
tt> Rtand aside from all ECK duties for the present. 

The experience you deiicrihe is h common teflt faced by Soul on Itsiavmsy 
back to God. 

With blessings in ECK, 

^ RellKIAn qF the Ufht end Sound efOod 

This was quite an array of consequences for a chela who had fol- 
lowed the Master's instructions to the letter, but was perhaps too suc- 
cessful in the process. Harold's response raised a number of troubling 
issues, each of which must be taken up here. One of them involved a 
misstatement of fact: 

[Your] journal of inner experiences . . . led you to think that you have 
received the Rod of ECK Power. You have not. 

Having read and reread Graham's journal, I am sure that he never 
claimed to have received the Rod of Eck Power. There is one reference 
to a passing of the Rod, but Graham is very careful to point out that it 

The Master Replies 79 

was purely symbolic and did not represent ascendancy to the leadership 
of Eckankar. Though receiving the Rod of Eck Power is held out as a 
future possibility, at no point in the journal does Graham say it 
occurred. Harold's statement reflects, at the very least, a faulty reading 
of the journal. 

Harold continues with a statement that Graham's instincts to "dis- 
believe his experiences" were valid. But the experience to which 
Harold refers is Graham's belief that he had already received the Rod 
of Eck Power. This was never true. Therefore, Harold's conclusion that 
the Kal misled Graham into believing he had already received it, makes 
no sense: Graham never held this belief in the first place! 

Harold then states: 

People who fall for this trick and mislead others off the Path of ECK 
become responsible for the Karma. 

The reasoning here, which places responsibility on the chela, is dubi- 
ous at best. To request assistance in placing a journal in front of the Liv- 
ing Eck Master, which is all Graham did, is certainly not intended to 
lead anyone off the path of Eck. If High Initiates are so fragile or gull- 
ible as to be drawn off the path of Eckankar by reading a chela's journal 
and placing it in front of the Master, then the position of High Initiate 
leaves much to be desired. Graham is not responsible for my karma — 
I am. I suspect other His feel the same. So why place this burden on the 
back of a second initiate, when the His are only doing their job by 
assisting? Certainly, this assertion by the Living Eck Master raises 
more questions than it answers. 

Mary and Lisa did not fare any better than I did. Their discipline 
was similar to mine; their letters were virtually identical to mine. It 
seemed that if we wanted to stay in Eckankar, we would have to 
strengthen our indoctrination by studying the Shariyat, go into semi- 
seclusion and, perhaps most importantly, say nothing more of the mat- 
ter. The next-to-last sentence of Harold's letter was ominous, even 
threatening: we could lose our initiations if we did not submit — quite 
a consequence for being duped by the Kal. Undoubtedly, imposing this 
discipline would send a message, far and wide, to chelas and High Ini- 
tiates alike. The message was not one of spiritual love and concern. 
Rather, the message was that any direct or indirect action threatening or 


challenging the authority of the Living Eck Master, even if inner 
directed, would be dealt with harshly. But, as we shall see, this is pre- 
cisely what the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad calls for, despite its avowed pur- 
pose as a book about spiritual freedom and openness. 

The Importance of Inner Experiences in Eckankar 

Harold's rejection of Graham's spiritual journal and also the inner 
experiences Graham had with him brings into question one of Eckan- 
kar's tenets. Anyone who has studied Eckankar or talked to Eckists 
knows that it is the individual's grounding in his inner spiritual experi- 
ences with the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master that is the heart of the 
teaching. On this rock, the structure of Eckankar stands. From this 
rock, Eckankar has been able to withstand accusations and questions 
about its authenticity and veracity. Eckists believe that critics of Paul 
Twitchell and Eckankar simply do not understand them because they 
have not had the spiritual experiences that ground Eckist's beliefs. 
They have not seen the Living Eck Master in the inner worlds. They 
have not talked to spiritual masters, traveled to temples of golden wis- 
dom, seen the light of God in the inner worlds, or heard the sounds of 
God on the inner planes. If they had, they would know the truth and the 
inner reality of this teaching. 

It is a foundation of Eckankar that its founder, Paul Twitchell, gave 
the world an unassailable body of truth and wisdom. Eckists believe in 
the intrinsic truth of his teachings, regardless of their origins. This con- 
viction makes up the second cornerstone of the Eckankar belief system. 

As to the first cornerstone, the validity of inner spiritual experi- 
ences has always been authenticated by assurances from the Master, 
that if the charged words^ are used, then the chela can rely on his expe- 
riences. This has also enabled Eckists to remain true to the path in spite 
of continuing challenges to its authenticity. But something goes amiss 
when these standards are applied to Graham's body of spiritual experi- 
ences, which are extraordinary to say the least. His body of work is at 


• Filled with light and sound 

The Master Replies 81 

• Involves extensive inner contact with the Living Eck 

• Describes spiritual encounters with most of the Eck Mas- 

• Depicts travels to the highest spiritual planes 
Is filled with new insights and wisdom 

• Expands the Eck teachings by its portrayal of the Nine 
Silent Ones in great detail 

Yet the Living Eck Master says that this journal is of the Kal! But, 
if these experiences are of the Kal, then what do we make of our own 
experiences? I have been blessed with numerous experiences in the 
inner worlds, with many spiritual masters. I have seen the light of God 
and heard the sounds of God on many inner planes. I know they are 
real. I have met with Harold (or his image) in the inner worlds of God. 
What am I to make of these experiences? Graham's experiences, in 
their recorded variety and depth, equal or exceed anything currently in 
Eckankar writings. If they are deceptions of the Kal, then what of Paul 
Twitchell's The Tiger's Fang, which contains a vivid and compelling 
account of his experiences in the inner worlds of God? What of every- 
thing that this teaching has used as the rationale for its existence and 
continuity throughout the years, namely, the validity of inner experi- 
ences? And what about the books written by other Eckists presenting 
their inner experiences, which were sanctioned by the Living Eck Mas- 
ter and published under Eckankar 's auspices? And what of Harold's 
own experiences? 

How can the Living Eck Master discount experiences involving 
himself, in the inner worlds in his radiant body, as experiences of the 
Kal? Is it because accepting them would compel him to accept the pos- 
sibility that he is to relinquish his position? Is it because there is some- 
thing fundamentally different in Graham's experiences that would 
enable the Living Eck Master to say that his experiences are of the neg- 
ative, but that the experiences of other Eckists are not? These questions 
have been posed to the Living Eck Master. They simply cannot be 
ignored and must not be silenced. 


Perhaps my own assessment of the journal's author is in order. 
Graham is one of the most genuine, sincere, and truthful individuals I 
have ever known. Furthermore, the two High Initiates in England who 
brought his works to my attention have known him throughout his time 
in Eckankar and also attest to his integrity and honesty. He is by all 
accounts filled with love and light. By sharing his journal, Graham has 
enabled each reader to peer deeply into his heart, enabling the reader to 
judge his honesty and integrity. Initially, he did not want to bring these 
writings forward. But like Jonah, he did so knowing he had a spiritual 
mission to fulfill. 

And so Eckankar and the Living Eck Master face a fundamental 
dilemma they cannot brush aside. Experiences with the Living Eck 
Master in the inner worlds are the essence of the Eckankar teaching. 
They are the goal that every Eckist strives for, the goal of most of the 
spiritual exercises taught by the Living Eck Master and contained in 
Eckankar discourses and books. Yet, the Living Eck Master has 
rejected Graham's journal, the spiritual experiences of a seven-year 
period. He has done so in spite of the facts that: 

• Graham's experiences occurred while reading The ECK 
Discourses written by the Living Eck Master 

• He practiced the exercises set forth in those discourses 

• He succeeded in his spiritual quest by having the very 
experiences that the Living Eck Master desired for each 
chela studying Eckankar. 

Most of these experiences were with the Living Eck Master him- 
self. Graham carefully checked his experiences with the tests and spir- 
itual words recommended by the Master to ensure their validity. The 
teachings of Eckankar on this crucial matter make it clear that one 

Be on guard, lest he who seeks without the Vi-Guru, the Supreme Guru, 
find those who only appear as the Holy One, claiming to be angels, or 
saints. Let none deceive the chela. If he who seeks is a chela of the Vi- 
Guru, he cannot be deceived by the Kal Niranjan.^ 

Without the clear vision of the Vi-Guru — he who is the Master — and 
the tests given by him, one cannot be assured of what he sees or hears. 

The Master Replies 83 

Every Spiritual Traveler, or Vi-Guru, will give the Word to the chela to 
call upon the Master. If the vision fails to reply then it is false. ^ 

The Conundrum 

So, we have a conundrum. We cannot in good faith dismiss Gra- 
ham's experiences: they happened, and they are proxies for our own 
experiences. What we learn about Eckankar and how the Living Eck 
Master deals with Graham and his experiences apply equally to us. 
How could it be otherwise? 

As we ponder the puzzle of the Living Eck Master's rejection of 
Graham's experiences, we are left with several explanations. Bear in 
mind that solving this puzzle requires reconciliation with principles set 
forth in the Eckankar teachings, in addition to those quoted above. 
Chief among these are the following: 

He takes them under his wing in loving care and is thereafter with them 
wherever they may be, whether it is on this plane or any of those in the 
heavenly worlds.'^ 

Whenever the chela experiences any difficulty with himself such as fall- 
ing into the negative trap, or even with Soul Travel, he should call upon 
the Master to assist him, or conduct him as the soul traveler to the spiri- 
tual worlds. For the Living Master is bound by his mission to answer 
each and every call of this nature."^ 

An even more disturbing question surfaces. Graham is one of the 
few chelas I know who has meticulously followed all the instructions 
Harold laid down in his discourses, particularly those involving the use 
of charged words to test the validity of inner experiences. Graham 
dutifully used these test words (the HU, Sugmad, Mahanta), as well as 
his own secret test words, yet the Living Eck Master claims that Gra- 
ham's experiences are of the Kal. What are we to make of this? 

How can any chela expect to be protected? What value are charged 
words to challenge inner experiences? Understanding why Harold, in 
an unexplained statement, nullifies all the guidance, instructions, and 
bedrock of this teaching with the flippant assertion that certain experi- 
ences are the works of the Kal, takes a better mind than mine, or at least 
one more in awe of organizational authority. 

Again, we must examine the two rationales that have held Eckan- 
kar together and enabled it to withstand challenges. First are the spiri- 


tual experiences of each chela. Second is the intrinsic truth contained in 
the writings of Paul Twitchell. The Living Eck Master has challenged 
the first of these tenets. He has rejected the most complete set of extant 
written spiritual experiences in Eckankar. By rejecting Graham's jour- 
nal, the Living Eck Master has undermined the validity of charged 
words and the inner experiences of chelas. He has done so without any 
reason as to how and why these experiences were rejected, without 
establishing anything to take their place. 

These puzzling events forced me to focus on the second foundation 
of my belief structure within the teaching: the veracity of Paul Twitch- 
ell's writings. The materials contained in his Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad wqyq 
brought under particular scrutiny, because they form the basis of the 
doctrine that has become the modern-day religion of Eckankar. 

Subsequent chapters of this book will address whether or not trust 
in Paul's works is well-founded I can say at this point that spirit does 
indeed work in extraordinary ways. Nothing happens by accident. 
Spirit always works to light the way and end the darkness. In the short 
term, the negative polarity may have the upper hand. But, in the end, 
all attempts to stiffle the truth eventually fail. When it does, those sup- 
pressing the truth must answer. It is ironic that Harold's rejection of the 
spiritual experiences of a chela under his charge and the imposition on 
me of a discipline of required study, has set in motion the very cosmic 
direction that could bring light to the darker parts of Eckankar. 

I have no questions concerning the reality of the sound and light of 
God. Nor do I question the power of spirit and its manifold ways of 
working with us in the physical realm. These beliefs have been the core 
of all the talks I have given in my years in Eckankar. But first and fore- 
most, I am a seeker of truth. I have never spoken profusely about Eck 
doctrine or history, because the absence of historical evidence to sup- 
port its claims has always bothered me. For years I remained neutral on 
the subject, but no longer. As a God-seeker, I will not rest until I have 
overturned every rock, read every page, and looked at everything I can 
find to reach the truth about this teaching, which events suggested lay 
hidden within Eckankar. 

Chapter 6 — Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 

Why I Looked Deeper into Eckankar 

In my more than thirty years in Eckankar, I spoke before thousands 
of aspirants and Eckists in numerous talks, workshops, and presenta- 
tions. Many told me that they joined or remained because of something 
that spirit had communicated through me. If they were influenced by 
these contributions, I feel a deep commitment to them. My work was in 
earnest, with the belief that I was communicating truth. After my long 
research into Eckankar, I am happy to say that, in large part, what I 
learned and communicated still stands the test of truth. However, as the 
real story behind the books, doctrines, and beliefs of Eckankar are 
revealed for all to see, some of it must be corrected. 

The incongruities in Harold's rejection of Graham's journal 
prompted me to examine carefully the second assumption underlying 
Eckankar: that the concepts and principles in Paul's books are true. 
David Lane's expose of Eckankar^ did not irrevocably taint its funda- 
mental precepts. When I first encountered Lane's work, I was willing to 
overlook Paul's plagiarism (though I had not fully grasped its extent) as 
long as the content of the materials was true. But Graham's journal 
raised many issues about Paul and Harold that placed the veracity of 
Paul's writings in question. 

In his August 8, 2001 journal entry, Graham describes a ceremony 

where he was to receive the Fourteenth Initiation. Yaubl Sacabi advised 


This has been decided to be given because of the falling level of power 
under Sri Harold. . . . The difference that you are aware of between the 
inner and outer Master is caused by this, the two are no longer in tune 
with each other. ^ 


Sacabi explained further that Sri Harold would be informed that the 
time had come for him to step down. He then instructed Graham to 
send his journal, with all its revelatory content, to Harold, who had 
already been informed on the inner that the materials were coming. 
When Graham inquired about Eckankar as a religion, he was told: 

ECKANKAR is not, was not, and never will be a religion. ECKAN- 
KAR is a Spiritual philosophy in the way of the Eternal Light and Sound 
of GOD. 3 

Yaubl Sacabi's statement is consistent with but falls short of the 
even more restrictive standards that Paul had proposed for Eckankar, 
which was to be run as a for-profit business.^ Indeed, Paul was quite 
insistent that Eckankar should not be a religion or even a tax-exempt 
group. 5 Yet, he later established Eckankar 's legal status as a non-profit, 
tax-exempt church. This status has been continued by Darwin and 
Harold, in spite of Paul's earlier warnings about the dangers of organiz- 
ing spiritual works as churches, orders, or institutions. 

In the afternoon of September 15, 2001 Graham was told: 

Because of the falling power of Sri Harold, He cannot hand over the 
Rod of ECK Power to you, it has been taken from Him. "^ 

Later, Graham was informed that the ceremonial transfer of the 
Rod of Eck Power might not take place on the outer. Seeking additional 
insight on this point, Graham was told that the Rod of Eck Power had 
been removed from Harold and that, in response, Harold turned Eckan- 
kar into a full-fledged religious institution to ensure its survival and his 
own. Graham also learned that, if the succession of the new Mahanta 
were acknowledged, Eckankar could be returned to its original pur- 
pose, that of a spiritual path not a doctrinaire religion. 

In addition to these significant revelations, Graham had many spir- 
itual encounters with Chungchok, the spokesman for the Nine Silent 
Ones. Paul wrote extensively on these beings and their spiritual roles: 

These strange beings are responsible for the running of the planes of 
God on a mechanical basis.... They come and go like the wind to carry 
out the will and wishes of the Lord of the universes.... The Silent Ones 
are in command of the great Sound wave, in the worlds of the uni- 
verses.... They have immense powers and great wisdom to carry out the 
assignments of the SUGMAD and, of course, unlimited freedom.... Out- 

Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 87 

side the SUGMAD, these Silent Ones are the most powerful beings in 
all the worlds... 7 

Given the importance of the Nine Silent Ones in Eckankar 's hierar- 
chy, Chungchok's statements take on immense importance. Indeed, 
they go to the very validity of Eckankar. Chungchok explained to Gra- 
ham that both the Temples of Golden Wisdom and the Rod of Eck 
Power existed only in Paul's writings. Graham was deeply troubled by 
this. How did it fit with his other experiences? Sensing this, Chun- 
gchok elaborated: 

Before you ask me, I know what your next question is going to be, and I 
have my answer here for you: you were given the experiences with the 
so-called Rod of ECK Power, because it was written into the teachings. 
If we had laid all this on you from the start, your balance would have 
gone, hence, as true to spirituality under a true teacher, it was given a 
step at a time to unfold your ability to accept it all, for there is a lot to 
have to accept.^ 

These revelations and Harold's reaction to the journal led to my 
investigation into Eckankar. Were there untruths and deceptions that 
somehow I had failed to see? If so, had I unwittingly become part of an 
ongoing deception that had mixed the seeker's sincere quest for spiri- 
tual enlightenment with a competing, though unrevealed, plan for spir- 
itual control and power? I had to know for myself and for the many 
Eckists whom I have known. I owed it to them to uncover the truth 
about the path to God that we had chosen and faithfully served with 
both love and steadfastness. 

I began with in-depth research. I read the books that were the basis 
for Paul's many writings. I examined the texts discovered by David 
Lane to have been plagiarized by Paul. I explored the Ruhani Satsang, 
founded by Kirpal Singh, which Paul had followed for almost ten years 
before founding Eckankar. I researched the works of his spiritual mas- 
ter during these years and those of the Radhasoami Beas line of mas- 
ters. I searched other spiritual paths that claimed to be a direct path to 
God. I hunted down every resource possible to learn the true sources of 
the Eckankar teaching. 

My research also led me to investigate the legal framework of Eck- 
ankar and the litigation in which it had been involved. I puzzled over 
the comments of Paul's wife, Gail, to understand why she rejected Eck- 


ankar and wanted no more association with it. Reading an explosive 
correspondence between Harold and Darwin, I tried to understand how 
one Living Eck Master could legally, financially, and spiritually 
destroy his predecessor. I talked to High Initiates, some who had 
reached the Seventh and Eighth Initiations, to understand why they left 
the teaching. I visited Paul's hometown (Paducah, Kentucky) and 
pored over the Twitchell Collection, which Paul had aided in establish- 
ing by assiduously sending news clipping, pictures, and other papers to 
his hometown library. I interviewed friends and acquaintances who had 
known Paul prior to his creation of Eckankar. I even sought Paul's mil- 
itary record and requested other official documents to determine the 
truth of his background. 

At times, the research was painful. I often felt deceived, even gull- 
ible. If you are a member of Eckankar, you might also feel that way. If 
you are not an Eckist, I hope these revelations will cause you to look 
into whatever path or religion you are following, for what this research 
has found in Eckankar was also found to exist in other religions and 
spiritual teachings. The only difference was that the dust of history had 
covered the latter's origins and evolution more completely than the 
mere decades that protected Eckankar from its historical record. 

Exploration of this more recent trail leading to the truth behind 
Eckankar will be challenging at times. This is how we grow spiritually. 
This is the only way that a loving, vulnerable, and beautiful soul can 
see and know Eckankar for what it really is. Only then, can the God- 
seeker decide how he may wish to continue his journey to God-Real- 

Standards of Religious and Spiritual Scrutiny 

While writing this book, several friends asked me why I would risk 
my standing as a well-known speaker and Seventh Initiate in Eckankar. 
The answer was quite simple. Standing is unimportant if it is not of 
truth. The God-seeker looks to truth as the infallible guide to higher 
states of spiritual awareness. But truth is often difficult to discern 
above the cacophony of prattle posing as true spiritual teachings. 

In examining the words and actions of Eckankar leaders, we are apt 
to judge them by ordinary standards. In Eckankar, the spiritual leader 
considers his position to represent the highest state of spiritual con- 

Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 89 

sciousness that can be expressed in the physical world. Indeed, Paul 

Each Living ECK Master has served as the Mahanta, which is God 
made flesh on earth. Therefore, we look to the Mahanta, for he is the 
representative of SUGMAD [God] in our midst today. ^ 

This description is the official definition for the spiritual leader of 
Eckankar. It is reinforced throughout the Eck works, especially the 
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, the Bible of the Eckists. It has never been modi- 
fied or reduced by Paul Twitchell, Darwin Gross, or Harold Klemp — 
Eckankar 's line of spiritual masters. 

A spiritual master of this stature should be held to standards that 
transcend those of average people. For if he were allowed their foibles, 
then what would there be to recommend the higher spiritual life to a 
God-seeker? What would be the point, if the "representative of God on 
earth" could not overcome the simple temptations and faults that mor- 
tals grapple with and often conquer? Certainly honesty, morality, and 
ethics are to be expected of such a spiritual master. As a parent, corpo- 
rate president, and teacher of spiritual subjects, ethical standards for the 
good of the whole are essential to me. Lying and distortion are simply 
unacceptable when a seeker is looking to you for truth. Thus, every 
Eckist is justified in expecting the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, 
"the representative of Sugmad [God] in our midst today," to live by 
these simple standards, if not substantially higher ones. 

When a person comes to a spiritual teaching, listens to the words of 
its spiritual leader, and reads its sacred texts, he is in a vulnerable state: 
he might well be too trusting. Many who come to Eckankar do not 
question it. They believe that they are being told the truth and that a 
highly developed spiritual leader would not deceive them. All teachers 
carry great responsibility. A relationship of trust exists akin to that of 
parent to child. How much more sacrosanct, then, is the relationship 
between a spiritual leader and a student, especially if the former pur- 
ports to be the manifestation of God? The student is apt to believe what 
he is told, especially if facile answers are readily available to assuage 
his concerns. 


The Four Zoas ofEckankar 

The Zoas are laws that govern our actions while in this world. Paul 
set forth four such laws by which the Mahdis,i° those who serve as the 
right-hand of the Mahanta, are to live their lives. Unless the Mahanta, 
the Living Eck Master, is above these laws, then we would assume that 
the Zoas should apply equally, if not more so, to the Mahanta, for he is, 
presumably, the living embodiment of all that we seek to become. The 
Zoas are: 

(1) The Mahdis shall not use alcohol, tobacco, drugs; he must not gam- 
ble or be gluttonous in any way. No Mahdis shall be existent on the ani- 
mal level. He is a leader, and he must fix his attention above the 
psychology of the brute. 

(2) The Mahdis shall not speak with tongue of vanity or deceit or unhap- 
piness, criticize the actions of others, blame others for wrong-doings, 
quarrel, fight, or infiict injury. He shall at all times be respectful and 
courteous to his fellowman and show great compassion and happiness. 

(3) The Mahdis shall have humility, love, and freedom from all bonds of 
creeds. He shall be free from the laws of karma which snare him with 
boastfulness and vanity. He shall have love for all people and all crea- 
tures of the SUGMAD. 

(4) The Mahdis must preach the message of ECK at all times, and prove 
to the world that he is an example of purity and happiness. ^^ 

These are beautiful and noble sentiments — a worthy set of pre- 
cepts for any God-seeker. Certainly, they are standards to which those 
who claim the mantle of Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, must adhere 
and demonstrate in all aspects of their lives. 

The Standard of Truth 

Paul set other important standards in Eckankar. They compose its 
foundation and are what attracted me to the teaching. This is how he 
put it: 

Man is able to tell what comfortable lies he likes to others but he must 
beware of telling them to himself — not because it is immoral but 
because, unfortunately, he will not be able to deceive himself One can- 
not live happily with a person he knows is a liar^^ 

Having warned us about the liar, Paul then identifies the standard, 
indeed the imperative, for truth in our lives. He writes: 

Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 91 

Before you can give Truth to others, Truth must be known as the abso- 
lute need in your life. We must see Truth and know Truth and think 
Truth always. ^^ 

This is the time for Truth, "the Truth, the whole Truth and nothing but 
the Truth." This is no time for half- Truths, for bewilderment and lack of 
understanding. These constitute the soil in which grief grows. In Truth 
alone is there comfort, understanding and courage, i'* 

He even spoke of the untoward circumstances that befall anyone 

who fails to heed this admonition: 

Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true 
and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to 
deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, 
then chaos will reign in our lives. ^^ 

These are the principles by which the history of Eckankar and its 
leadership will be examined. Looking at this history will not be easy. It 
may even be painful. We all struggle to defend our beliefs and those in 
whom we have placed our trust. Indeed, we should not abandon these 
loyalties quickly. However, the God-seeker must choose between hold- 
ing on to the familiar and moving on toward truth. Some will choose 
the familiar, at least until the call of soul shepherds them beyond their 
comfort zone into the unfamiliar, the unknown, where the next step in 
spiritual growth lies. Let us remember what Paul said: 

We must have Truth in order to have power. Be truthful in your 
thoughts. Never shy away from a critical thought from a sense of mis- 
taken kindness to yourself Never make a deliberate effort to forget 
something unpleasant. It is our responsibility to face the things we have 
created. ^^ 

Paul Twitchell and the Real History of Eckankar 

Paul Twitchell faced a great dilemma. He had studied under his 
spiritual master for about ten years and had numerous inner experi- 
ences that spoke of a great spiritual role for him. Eager to tell his mas- 
ter, Kirpal Singh, of the experiences they had shared in the inner worlds 
of God, he sent a manuscript (later published as The Tiger 's Fang), 
seeking his approval. But Kirpal Singh rebuffed him, saying his experi- 
ences were incomplete or inaccurate. (In this respect, Paul's experi- 
ences with Kirpal Singh were similar to Graham's with Harold.) Upset, 
he asked Kirpal Singh to return the manuscript and terminated his study 
with him. 


In 1971, Paul completely disavowed his former Master in the 
harshest terms: 

I have never recognized you as a master, or that you give initiations, and 
that your work is not in the best interest of spirituality. Your teachings 
are orthodox, and as a preacher you are not capable of assisting anyone 
spiritually. ^ ^ 

Rather strong words for a master who earlier had evoked admira- 
tion and praise: 

My Saints are Kabir...Rumi, Hafiz, Shamusi-Tabriz and Kirpal Singh of 
India. 1^ 

I have studied under many teacher [sic]. ... I have so far had seven, 
some outstanding ones, including Sri Kirpal Singh, of Delhi, India. ^^ 

Paul eventually denied that Kirpal Singh had initiated him. Eckan- 
kar officially confirmed this in 1977 when Darwin Gross, the Living 
Eck Master of the time, through his secretary, stated: 

Kirpal Singh and the Radha Swoami [sic] group tried to "claim" Paul 
Twitchell and use him for their own purposes, as have other groups from 
the East and the West. Paul . . . wrote a letter to Kirpal Singh and . . . 
stating that he, Paul, would take Singh ... to court if necessary. Due to 
the threats and harassment and material Kirpal Singh . . . tried to use 
against Paul Twitchell by faking Paul's signature on many papers. . . . 
Sri Darwin Gross, the MAHANTA, the Living ECK Master of ECKAN- 
KAR has stated that he knows for a fact that Paul Twitchell only had 
two ECK Masters during his earthly stay here: the Tibetan Rebazar 
Tarzs, and Sudar Singh, and no one else.^° 

Darwin was of course mistaken in his assertion that Paul only had 
two masters. He was also mistaken about letters from Paul to his then 
master presumably forged by Kirpal Singh's group. Lhis was part of 
the official story line of Eckankar until Harold had to admit that Paul 
had studied under Kirpal Singh — so clear and incontrovertible was the 

How Paul, and subsequently Eckankar, believed for so long that he 
could hide the truth is baffling. It is an ironic aside to this whole affair 
that Paul died of a heart attack around the time Kirpal Singh received 
his letter. His death occurred five, if not fifteen, years before he pre- 
dicted that he would die, vitiating his own proclamation that a master 
dies only when ready and in a natural and predictable manner. Lhis 

Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 93 

added to speculation about whether Paul was actually a master or 
something else entirely. 

Paul Twitchell After the Break: The Idea is Born 

Singh's rejection was a turning point in Paul's life. His reaction to 
this rebuff set him on a course that would forever be the bane of his 
newly formed religion, Eckankar. It started as a philosophy of what 
Paul called "the Cliff-Hanger," a person facing imminent death who 
suddenly sees life in a new way. Rather than being an ancient religion, 
it began as a philosophy drawn from his experiences: 

ECKANKAR, which I formed out of my own experience, is the term 
used for the philosophy I have developed for the Cliff-Hanger. It is 
based on Shabd-Yoga, a way out form of yoga. The word is Hindu locu- 
tion for the cosmic sound current which is known in our vernacular as 
the cosmic river of God. ^^ 

In an article he wrote entitled "The Square Peg," Paul commented 
on the Cliff-Hanger and Eckankar that he had just started to formulate: 

This zany character is called the vanguard of a new religion, entitled 
"Eckankar," a Hindu word meaning Union with God.^^ 

And in an advertisement for a talk on bilocation^a in San Diego, 
Paul wrote that his philosophy 

. . . brings new techniques to those interested in Bilocation. Taking the 
old and putting together new ideas he has codified a system called ECK- 
ANKAR, for those concerned with out-of-the-body experiences. ^^^ 

In connection with his biography. In My Soul I Am Free, written by 
Brad Steiger, Paul was asked when he started to formulate the message 
of Eckankar. He responded, "Probably when my sister, Kay -Dee, died 
in 1959. "25 When asked when he changed from being a Cliff-Hanger to 
a spiritual adept, he replied: 

The switchover from the Cliff-Hanger to ECK began taking place after I 
met my present wife, Gail. She insisted that I do something with my 
knowledge and abilities. ^^ 

The Creation Begins 

This simple story behind the creation of Eckankar would probably 
have been quite acceptable to the millions who learned about and stud- 
ied Paul's new religion. Initially, he readily admitted what he was doing 


and why he was doing it. Then something changed. Paul was not satis- 
fied with creating just another eclectic path for those seeking new 
expressions of spirituality in 1960s California. Instead, with Gail's urg- 
ing, he developed a westernized version of a teaching he had studied 
for almost ten years and imbued it with a storyline that made it unique. 
Paul claimed Eckankar to be the precursor and progenitor of every reli- 
gion known to man. This statement might sound like an exaggeration 
of Paul's words, but it is not. His grandiloquence coupled with his 
desire to "one up" all other religions led him to write: 

ECKANKAR created and comprises all the religious ideas of the lower 
worlds. Art, writing, music, and sculpture are only developments of the 
higher ideals of ECKANKAR. .. . The major religions of the world have 
sprung out of ECKANKAR. ^^ 

Quite an accomplishment for a religion that had existed less than 
ten years! Paul knew that the best way to build up Eckankar was to 
make fabulous and gigantic claims that could neither be proved nor dis- 
proved. Paul was no amateur when it came to the art of the "big lie." 
Not content to claim credit for the formation of all world religions, Paul 
expanded the history of Eckankar to encompass the lives of everyone 
and anyone of any historical significance: 

The famous line of prophets in the Israelite tribes were trained in the 
teachings of ECKANKAR, as their prophecies well show. The Greek 
Masters Apollonius, Dionysius, Pythagoras, Socrates, Aristotle, and 
Plato were taught the art of ECKANKAR by the ancient Adepts. Practi- 
cally every man who has contributed to civilization has spiritually been 
a chela, or student, of the hidden teachings of ECK.^^ 

The Historical Rewrite Continues 

Paul's account of the founding of Eckankar, "the Ancient Science 
of Soul Travel,"29 laid the foundation for the extraordinary position he 
was to create for himself. From the lone Cliff-Hanger who was the ava- 
tar of a new religion, Paul ascended to the 97 1 st Living Eck Master in a 
long line of masters that he asserted had guided mankind from its gene- 

Having disavowed his association with Kirpal Singh, Paul changed 
the historical record by substituting the names of invented masters such 
as Rebazar Tarzs. Similarly, he never disclosed his association with 
Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who had been a mentor 

Eckankar: Revealed by Truth 95 

of sorts and whose start-up likely provided a blueprint for Eckankar. 
This association foreshadows his use of many tactics and techniques 
that would be employed in the creation and promulgation of the new 
religion of Eckankar. 

He also dissociated himself from the spiritual path and the lineage 
of masters comprising the Radhasoami Satsang Beas, out of which the 
Ruhani Satsang, founded by Kirpal Singh, had emerged. In their place, 
as we shall see, he created his own line of masters, complete with dubi- 
ous histories and lineages. This fabrication was necessary to round out 
a history that started as an admitted creation of Paul and became the 
"Ancient Science of Soul Travel," the "only path to God." 

Once Paul embarked on this dissembling course, he was forced to 
weave a web of stories whose persuasiveness was rooted in their mag- 
nitude and audacity. Weaving such a fiction took a type of unprincipled 
genius with which he had been abundantly blessed. It took a mindset 
that could abandon the fundamental principles of truth that he had pro- 
pounded so eloquently. This is the paradox of Paul Twitchell: to convey 
spiritual truth, he created an elaborate lie. 

I am not an analyst and do not pretend to understand fully the psy- 
chological motivations that prompted him to do what he did. However, 
an analysis of his actions and pronouncements suggests a psychologi- 
cal explanation that will be explored once we better see his amoral 
genius at work. To understand what Paul did requires a deeper look into 
the devices he used to make up the spiritual history, cosmology, and 
spiritual hierarchy, which form the basis of the religion of Eckankar 

Chapter 7 — Twitchellian Techniques of 
Spiritual Creativity: The Ten 

Paul Twitchell systematically used ten devices to weave the history 
of Eckankar. Some are easily discernible; others are subtle, if not dia- 
bolical. Together, they create an elaborate fiction that will be laid bare 
using the facts and the paper trail he left behind. When the truth is 
revealed, Eckankar will be seen for the magical, mystical creation that 
it is. A creation that is reinforced by the inner and outer experiences of 
its members, which transform its myth into reality. 

We will view Paul's actions by the standard he himself espoused, 
and return to this standard from time to time to underscore his pattern 
of deception: 

Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true 
and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to 
deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, 
then chaos will reign in our lives. ^ 

Device One: Factual and Historical Inaccuracies 

When Was Paul Born? 

Discourse and controversy about something as simple as Paul's 
date of birth have filled gigabytes of space on the Internet and reams of 
paper. Paul has claimed or been ascribed no fewer than four different 
dates of birth. Arguments over his birth date would be irrelevant if not 
for important aspects of the history of Eckankar tied to it. Aside from 
the glaring disparities in the ages that Paul created or allowed to circu- 
late, the validity of many of his claims is anchored by that date. It con- 
stitutes a "time line" from which the veracity of other claims can be 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 97 

The date of birth on Paul's death certificate^, provided by his sec- 
ond wife, Gail, was October 22, 1922. It would be hard to imagine any 
reason for Gail to provide the medical examiner with anything other 
than what she believed to be the truth. Whatever the reason, it does 
appear that the 1922 date was no typo, as some have argued, since other 
parts of the death certificate show that Gail recorded his age at the time 
of his death as forty-eight years old, consistent with the 1922 date. 
Beyond this, the marriage certificate^ signed by J. Paul Twitchell and 
Gail A. Atkinson clearly shows that Paul gave his date of birth as Octo- 
ber 22, 1922, consistent with the date Gail had recorded on his death 
certificate. There was no typo and no mistake. This is what Paul wanted 
Gail to believe and this is what she believed. Why Paul told his much 
younger wife that he was a decade younger than he actually was, is 
open to easy speculation. 

On his marriage certificate to his first wife, Paul entered his date of 
birth as October 22, 1912. ^ The weight of the evidence and the findings 
of Harold would place his birth date on or about October 22, between 
1908 and 1910.^ But the best evidence is a copy of a census form com- 
pleted by a census taker in 1910 on which Paul's age was listed as six 
months. «5 It can be presumed that the parents of a six-month-old child 
would have truthfully responded to an official U.S. Government census 
taker visiting the home of a U.S. citizen, especially in 1910. Further, 
the U.S. Census Bureau confirms that the 1910 census was begun on 
April 15, 1910 and was concluded on May 15, 1910. Six months prior 
to this period would place Paul's birth date in October of 1909. 

However, discrepancies in Paul Twitchell's age would not be sig- 
nificant except that similar incongruities recur, in ways small and large, 
throughout his life. The date of Paul's birth is the first major thread that 
begins to unravel the carefully woven stories Paul used to fashion the 
fabulous and intriguing history of Eckankar. Paul fabricated a myth 
about himself that would dovetail nicely with the dissolution of his 
relationship with Sri Kirpal Singh. He told the story of his early contact 
with Sudar Singh — first in Paris, France and later in Allahabad, India 
— when he was fifteen or sixteen. He explained his return to America 
right before World War II as due to his mother's illness.^ 


This story worked well in explaining where and from whom he had 
received his early spiritual training. It also established an early marker 
for the existence of and his association with the Vairagi Eck Masters. 
But there are substantial problems here. Once again, Paul seemed 
oblivious to the fact that his life left a paper trail. Of course, Paul could 
not have foreseen the information revolution of the Internet and the ris- 
ing skepticism of a "duped-too-often" public. Unfortunately, for Paul 
and his many ardent followers (I certainly once counted myself among 
them), the facts do not support his story. Here is what we know: 

• Paul was bom in 1909.^ 

• He graduated from Tilghman High School in Paducah, 
Kentucky, in May 1 93 1 .^ 

• He entered Murray State College (Murray, Kentucky) in 
September 1931, remaining a full-time student until 
March 1933. He concentrated in General Education but 
did not earn a degree. i° 

• He attended Western Kentucky University from 1933- 
1935 but received no degree. ^^ 

• His mother died on April 26, 1940.^2 

• His father died on March 24, 1 96 1 . i ^ 

• His sister died on March 11, 1959. i^ 

• His brother died on October 20, 1964.1^^ 

If Paul's mother died in 1940 and Paul was born in 1909, Paul was 
around thirty at her death. Paul's account, as written by his official 
biographer. Brad Steiger, has hiva fifteen at the time of his first visit to 
France and therefore on his return to America at the time of his 
mother's death. Paul and his sister, according to the Steiger account, 
returned to France where they met Sudar Singh and decided to accom- 
pany him to his Ashram in India. However, this recitation of the facts 
represents a fifteen or sixteen year discrepancy in age between Paul's 
story as told to Steiger and the facts of his life. 

In fact, Paul did not finish high school at age fifteen, as he told 
Steiger. Records from his school reveal that he graduated in 1931. 
Thus, Paul was twenty-one years of age at graduation. ^^ Paul's educa- 
tion proceeded without interruption, laying fallow his claim that he had 
journeyed to Paris with his sister, and later to India to meet the Eck 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 99 

Master Sudar Singh. His attempt to lay an early marker for the exist- 
ence of the Vairagi Masters and his involvement with them is just one 
of many Twitchellian inventions. As to Steiger's, (read Paul's) asser- 
tion that Paul graduated at age fifteen, Harold writes: 

But in those days high school was the way college is today — you could 
quit for a while and then go back. So Paul probably graduated from high 
school between age 18 and age 23. ^^ 

I commend Harold for his efforts to set some of the record straight. 
In this regard, he certainly did more than his predecessor, Darwin 
Gross, who appears to have fallen for all of Paul's claims. Harold tried 
to fill the time warp created by Paul's invention by asserting it was 
common back then for high school students to take time off for various 
reasons. Though Harold concedes that Paul graduated at a later age 
(thereby disputing Paul's account), he attempted to create a scenario 
that leaves room for and suggests the possibility of Paul's trip to France 
and India. In keeping with Steiger's account, Harold allows for the all- 
important meeting with Sri Sudar Singh. 

When I heard this explanation, my first reaction was that Steiger 
could have made a simple mistake in recording what Paul said. As I 
was anxious to believe Paul, Harold's "added insight" was a straw that, 
at the time, I was happy to accept. I was thankful to Harold for restoring 
credibility to Paul's story and for dealing with the accusations of that 
David Lane fellow, who had so impolitely averred that Eckankar was 
riddled with lies. However, it was not to be so simple. The facts, as I 
learned, did not support Harold's spin, leaving the unpleasant conclu- 
sion that Paul did not "tell it like it was." 

Steiger wrote that Paul and his sister, Kay Dee, went to France after 
his graduation from high school and then to India — staying for about 
one year — after his mother's death. Yet the registrar from Paul's high 
school indicated that there was no break in his education, and that he 
was a student at Murray State from the end of high school in 193 1 until 
he left Murray in 1933. There appears to be no period when Paul was 
out of the country, much less in France or India. Paul Iverlet, the hus- 
band of Kay Dee, attests: 

[H]is wife never left the United States in her entire life. Also he claims 
that... Paul never left North America until the Second World War.^^ 


Conversations with Paul Twitchell's first wife, Camille Ballowe, 
whom he married in 1942, are insightful. Her knowledge of Paul's trav- 
els from 1933 to 1942 was not unqualified, though she herself was a 
native of Paducah and knew him for some time before they were mar- 
ried. Ballowe insists that Paul took no trips abroad. ^^ 

Paul's official biography has him meeting Sudar Singh in India at 
age sixteen, after his mother's death in 1940. But according to Paul's 
account in Difficulties of Becoming an ECK Master, Sudar Singh died 
between 1935 and 1939.^0 Obviously, this doesn't add up. By this reck- 
oning, Sudar Singh was dead before Paul ever went to India to study 
with him. In a clever attempt to provide cover, Harold asserts — with 
no backing, not even an imaginary death certificate for an imaginary 
master — that Sudar Singh "died in the 1940s. "^^ This conveniently 
gives Paul the time to have studied under Sudar Singh before his death 
and then returned home. To stretch the cover a bit more and create a 
clear window of opportunity for Paul to have accomplished these meet- 
ings, Harold changed his own cover story. In his later writings, he 

Paul mentioned that he [Sudar Singh] died around the 1940s [Paul had 
actually said 1935-1939], but it seems to have been around 1955.^2 

Harold's stretching of his cover story by another fifteen years pro- 
vided an even wider margin for error and was quite helpful, since Paul 
purportedly went to France and then to India to study under Singh after 
his mother's death. It corrects Paul's mistake of "killing off Sudar 
Singh by 1939. Harold's attempts at obfuscation appear throughout his 
writings. But even Harold does not attempt to explain the discrepancy 
in Paul's alleged age of sixteen in 1940, when he was supposed to have 
met Sudar Singh, and the census record that demonstrates Paul was 
about thirty years old in 1940. 

A final note about Harold's revision of the date of Sudar Singh's 
death to 1955 versus the — at the latest — 1939 date Paul had 
asserted. 23 It is hard to imagine how even Paul could have gotten the 
death of Sudar Singh wrong by fifteen years. But since Paul did not 
begin his study under Kirpal Singh (his real master) until 1955, the new 
date given by Harold for the death of Sudar Singh (also 1955) is a bit 
too convenient. Harold seems to be constructing a story that would sup- 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 101 

port an unbroken chain of study under some master — even if not an 
Eck Master. 

Even if Harold is correct, this convenient new date for the demise 
of Sudar Singh and the known commencement of Paul's study with Kir- 
pal Singh in 1955, raises another question. Why didn't Paul begin his 
1955 study under Eck Master Rebazar Tarzs rather than non-Eck Mas- 
ter Kirpal Singh? Inasmuch as Tarzs was supposedly on the scene and 
functioning as the Living Eck Master he would have been the obvious 
choice as Paul's master. Harold had pointed out that Rebazar Tarzs, 
who as we shall see was one of Paul's created Eck Masters, had taken 
over from Sudar Singh (another of Paul's created Eck Masters) after his 
death — either in 1939, the 1940s or 1955: 

If a Living ECK Master translated before his successor was ready, as 
with Sudar Singh, Rebazar took the Rod of ECK Power in the mean- 

Harold specifically points out that Tarzs was giving initiations prior 
to 1965.25 However, Paul Twitchell, the future Mahanta, the Living 
Eck Master was actually initiated by Kirpal Singh — the non-Eck Mas- 
ter — in 1955, rather than by the Living Eck Master holding the Rod of 
Eck Power, Rebazar Tarzs, who was presumably also giving initiations 
in 1955. It should be abundantly clear that some ferocious storytelling 
and revisionism is going on. None of it is ultimately successful and all 
of it simply adds velocity to this crumbling house of cards. 

Where Was Paul Born ? 

Paul describes the line of succession of Eck Masters preceding him 
(the last being Rebazar Tarzs) when he writes: 

Following him is Peddar Zaskq, who was born on a packetboat in the 
midst of the Mississippi River, a few minutes after a great earthquake 
shook the mid-South and formed a great lake in this region.^s 

Since Paul had assumed "Peddar Zaskq" as his spiritual name, he 
was clearly talking about himself, in his present life, in this passage. 
However, this conflicts with previous statements about his birth, writ- 
ten in his biography. Paul said in his biography that he was born in 
China Point (no state given), not on a Mississippi packet boat. Darwin 
and his staff tried to fix the problem by claiming that he was actually 
born (in this lifetime) around 1812. Records indicate there was an 


earthquake in 1812 that resulted in the formation of a lake, but of 
course the rest of the story has no corroboration. ^^ 

Darwin went further to assert that Paul had been born, not in China 
Point, as Paul's biography had claimed, but on the Mississippi River on 
a packet boat as alleged in the Spiritual Notebook?^ However, Dar- 
win's version of this birth tale would result in a claim that Paul was a 
hundred years older than he actually was. Such a claim was a little hard 
to sell, even in Eckankar. 

Recognizing the quagmire into which Darwin had walked, and 
attempting to reconcile Paul's various accounts of his birthplace, 
Harold created yet another scenario that he thought better fit the facts. ^^ 
Harold attempts to salvage the Mississippi River account of Paul's 
birth by averring that it actually describes his birth in a previous life. 
Harold reaches this conclusion by combining a statement from The 
Spiritual Notebook^° with parts of Paul's historical novel. The Drums 
ofEck.^'^ By identifying an earthquake that occurred in 1812 and a lake 
that formed from it in northern Tennessee, Harold endeavors to breathe 
life into Paul's Mississippi packet boat story. A problem remains: the 
Spiritual Notebook speaks of Peddar Zaskq in this lifetime, not a per- 
son in a previous one. For there is no indication, as Harold would sug- 
gest, that a Peddar Zaskq was born in a prior lifetime (in 1812) who 
was an Eck Master in training during that life. Harold deftly bridges 
lifetimes in an effort to tie an earthquake in one century to a living mas- 
ter (with the same spiritual name) in the next. However, everything, 
including Eck writings, points to this 1812 person as a pure fiction, cer- 
tainly not one of Paul's Vairagi Masters or a master in training. This is 
nothing more than an effort by Harold to keep the fabric from unravel- 
ing by stitching it with a yarn that might hold it together, at least for a 

Paul himself contradicts Harold's story. In a little-read book pub- 
lished by Eckankar 's Illuminated Way Publishing Company in 1980, 
based on transcribed interviews with Paul, he describes his past life: 

Now there are many things that I had to do, and it can go all the way 
back into the lifetime before this, in which I was born in the Caucasian 
[^/c] Mountains and had to go through a series of trainings there, even to 
the extent of keeping myself inside. . . . Then I was trained in order to 
eventually come into this position as Living ECK Master.^^ 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 103 

To call this unbelievable would be an understatement. The Cauca- 
sus Mountains (we can only assume he meant the Caucasus Mountains, 
as the "Caucasian Mountains" do not exist) are a great mountain range 
in Russia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan between the Black Sea and the Cas- 
pian Sea, quite a way from any packet boat on the Mississippi. Since 
Harold asserts that The Spiritual Notebook account of a birth on the 
Mississippi and the Drums of ECKy ersion describe the same prior life- 
time of Paul Twitchell, Harold must reconcile these two conflicting 
versions of where Paul was bom in that lifetime. 

While blindsided by Paul's account of his birth in a prior lifetime, 
Harold was convinced of the authenticity of Paul's account in The 
Drums ofECK, mainly because of statements such as this: 

The narrative which is laid down in this book, The Drums ofECK, may 
appear to the reader to be fiction but it is a true story. It is taken from my 
personal memories of what happened during the stirring times of the 
American-Mexican War [sic] which was fought in the years 1846-1848. 
. . . The characters who appear in this story, including myself as Peddar 
Zaskq, which is my real name, were actual people living in those 
times. ^^ 

From accounts such as this, we can understand the confusion that 
Darwin and Harold must have felt in trying to interpret what Paul 
meant by "characters who appear in this story, including myself as Ped- 
dar Zaskq . . . were actual people living in those times." Darwin, of 
course, interpreted this passage literally and maintained that this 
described Paul in this life, making him over 140 years old.^^ Harold 
interpreted it to mean Paul's immediate past life, in which he used the 
name Peddar Zaskq. Both were wrong! 

Holding this issue in abeyance, we learn other fascinating things 
about the history and origins of Eckankar in this "true story . . . taken 
from my personal memories." According to this account, Eckankar was 
on the scene much sooner than Paul's earlier pronouncements on the 

He thought of what Peddar Zaskq, that strange man who was acting as a 
scout for Blake's patrol, said about ECKANKAR, the Ancient Science 
of Soul Travel. 3^^ 

These events supposedly took place on March 26, 1846. Contrary 
to the facts of Eckankar 's creation in 1965, we appear to have a mid- 


nineteenth-century account of Eckankar in its present-day form, that is, 
the Ancient Science of Soul Travel. Apparently unaware of this 1846 
reference to today's Eckankar, not to mention Paul's alleged study 
under Sudar Singh in the 1940s, and his assertion that it is the precursor 
of all known religions, Harold describes a Paul Twitchell in training, 
who may have been oblivious to the existence of Eckankar when he 

Someday he would have a chance to take this teaching called ECKAN- 
KAR — maybe he didn 't even know the name then — and put it in front 
of people. ^'^ 

Why would Harold even suggest that Paul might not have known 
the name Eckankar when he has Paul's written historical record that, if 
true, would make this supposition impossible? How could Paul not 
have known, unless, of course, this history was not true and Paul actu- 
ally hadn't heard of the name Eckankar before? Harold is trying, with 
subtlety and stealth, to lay a foundation of truth without destroying the 
fiction that is indispensable to the survival of Eckankar as a religion 
and the "Ancient Science of Soul Travel." Paul did not make his task 
easy; he left a trail that, despite heroic efforts, Harold could not cover 
up. For Paul clearly asserts that he knew about Eckankar and that it was 
an ancient path as early as 1846. As if this were not enough trouble, 
Paul contributes yet more confusion. In this account of Peddar Zaskq 
from The Drums ofEck, which Harold asserts placed his birth date at 
1812, Paul is again less than helpful: 

He [Peddar Zaskq] was in some way associated with the strange religion 
called ECKANKAR. Somehow, Blake had heard that he was an Ameri- 
can over one hundred years old^'' 

One hundred years old in 1846 would place the birth of this Peddar 
Zaskq at 1746, a full sixty-five years before Harold claims he was bom 
in the "previous life" account. So much for the earthquake and the lake. 
Had Paul simply called The Drums ofEck an historical fiction, which it 
was, rather than to declare it true, his accounts would not be held to a 
different standard. However, his decision, and Harold's acceptance of 
this decision, to treat the book as a true story subjects both their state- 
ments to the much different and higher standard of truth. It shows how 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 105 

difficult, if not absurd, it is to attempt to turn fiction into truth and to 
weave conflicting fictional tales into a rational narrative. 

In his inimitable way, Paul doesn't stop here with his Drums ofEck 
"true story." He lays even more land mines for Harold and his succes- 
sors to defuse or step on: 

With the exception of a few, all had left their homes for gold, liquor and 
lust in this exotic land where the SUGMAD [God], the deity of that 
strange religion called ECKANKAR, would await ITS retribution for 
being aroused from a deep slumber over the centuries. ^^ 

The Sugmad asleep? The Sugmad awaiting ITS retribution? What 
are we to do with these assertions? And these gems go on and on. 
Harold accepts this account as true, since Paul has declared as much. 
Yet, our investigation reveals that it is simply an enormous fiction. In 
this and numerous other instances, Paul has created reams of fabrica- 
tions that Harold must explicate to prevent this tightly woven fabric of 
fact and falsehood called Eckankar from completely unraveling. 

Let us return to Paul's account of his place of birth in the "Cauca- 
sian Mountains" in his last lifetime. If Harold asserts that Paul was 
born on a Mississippi packet boat, he must now explain this second 
place of birth in his prior lifetime in order to salvage the cover that he 
attempted but was vitiated by Paul's own words. 

The Spiritual Notebook account of the birth of Peddar Zaskq has 
another problem. The history and genealogy of the Twitchell family 
demonstrate that he was born neither on a packet boat nor on the Mis- 
sissippi; nor did a lake form following an earthquake at the time of his 
birth. Instead, Paul was bom on the Westside of Paducah, Kentucky to 
Jacob and Effie Twitchell. ^^ Paul adds to the confusion by allowing 
Brad Steiger to write that he was bom and lived his early years in China 
Point. This, too, was not true. As Harold points out: 

There is no such town as China Point in Kentucky. He [Paul] con- 
structed the story to protect his family, so that later on, when people 
sought him out to learn about ECKANKAR, his family wouldn't be pes- 
tered by well-meaning people intruding in their lives. ^° 

While well-intended, Harold's attempt to explain this yarn is dubi- 
ous. At the time of the publication of In My Soul I Am Free (1968), 
Paul's immediate family (all of them) was dead, and so a case for fam- 


ily protection cannot reasonably be made. An alternative is that Paul 
preferred to add to his legend or to put people on a false trail so that 
they would not discover the truth. 

The Real Paul Twitchell Revealed 

Harold admits to Paul's self-promotional puffery in his attempts to 
get himself written about in Ripley 's Believe It or Not. It seems that 
Paul took on a pseudonym "Carl Snyder" and wrote Ripley 's spinning 
an impressive yarn about his life. On this episode, Harold writes: 

In this particular letter to Ripley's, Carl Snyder spoke about the things 
this Paul Twitchell had accomplished. Paul had a punchy style of writ- 
ing. It was alive; it just glowed with life. He was drawing on his creativ- 
ity to survive, so he wrote this promotional stuff Snyder expanded on all 
of this talent: "College athletic trainer, swimming coach, track team" 
and embellished it even more by adding things like, "prizefighter" and 
"promoter of fights." He worked every angle on every job he ever held, 
giving each position all different titles. In addition, he said, "Paul 
Twitchell reads all the time. He reads a book a night, and sometimes 
doesn't even get a wink of sleep. "^^^ 

Harold notes a few other examples of Paul's penchant for embel- 
lishment that will become important in later chapters. Paul also used 
the pseudonym, "Charles Daniel." Harold notes that if one finds any 
Eckankar-related materials by this author, or by other names along with 
the word "wink," then it's a pretty good bet that Paul was behind the 

In another account of Paul's early exploits, Harold describes a 
young Paul Twitchell interested in making a name for himself while 
still in Kentucky. To accomplish this, Paul selected Who 's Who in Ken- 
tucky as a vehicle for self-promotion. Harold writes: 

At 27 years of age, the most Paul had ever done was to teach physical 
education. But by the time he wrote it all up, exaggerating and twisting 
the facts, he had worked up a nice little paragraph about all the grand 
achievements of one Paul Twitchell. He made it sound quite impres- 

Another charming story to be sure, but Harold seems to miss the point 
in his attempt to soften acts that we would never counsel our children, 
acts that could cost a person his job. This is lying, and it is universally 
detested. And especially in a twenty-seven year old "God-man to be," it 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 107 

cannot be condoned. Yet Harold justifies Paul's promotional prevarica- 
tions in Machiavellian terms: 

I saw an article in the obituary column in one of the West Coast newspa- 
pers a few weeks ago about a seventy-seven-year-old lady who had 
founded a certain church many years ago. But who ever heard of it? 
This talent of self-promotion was necessary for Paul's mission. ^4 

I did a double-take when I first read this, and I continue to be shocked 
with every rereading. Harold is not only excusing Paul's lying but actu- 
ally declares it as "necessary for Paul's mission." I have to wonder just 
what was Paul's mission. Is the art of lying and gross exaggeration a 
necessary talent and training for a true God-man or for a true con-man? 
Surely, no one can begrudge a young and ambitious writer certain 
excesses in representing himself and his accomplishments. But Paul's 
exaggerations went far beyond this and approached the territory of mis- 
representation. Thus, while the episode depicting Paul's early years in 
some ways describes the actions of "quite a rascal," as Harold had 
described him, 45 it is also deeply disturbing. Indeed, these would 
remain just charming stories if it were not for what Harold euphemizes 
as Paul's "creativity to survive." 

It is likely that this finely-honed talent led to Paul's creation of Eck- 
ankar in the first place. The need for finance was cited by those who 
knew Paul as one of his key motivations for starting Eckankar: 

Problems between him and his wife Gail led him to believe she was 
going to leave him and he desperately wanted to keep her. So when she 
demanded more money and better living, he started to write things and 
copy from other books. ^"^ 

This creativity to survive also reveals itself in his writing of the Eckan- 
kar works. He created a teaching that maintained a loyal following and 
revenue base for him and his successors. During the period of my 
research for this book, I traveled to Lakemont, Georgia to meet with 
Roy Eugene Davis, the director of Center for Spiritual Awareness and 
a disciple of Paramahansa Yogananda. He provided additional insight 
into Paul's early motivations in creating Eckankar and about Paul's 
"creativity to survive." 

Davis is an internationally respected teacher and lecturer of the 
spiritual growth processes in the Kriya Yoga tradition and the author of 


numerous books on the subject. A contemporary of Paul Twitchell, he 
wrote of his association: 

I met Paul Twitchell during the early 1960's in Washington, D.C. At that 
time Paul lived in an apartment owned by, and on the grounds of the 
Self-Revelation Church of Absolute Monism of which the late Swami 
Premananda, one of my brother disciples, was the founder and minister. 
Paul contacted me after seeing a notice of my public lectures and after 
our initial conversation we continued to meet at his apartment from time 
to time. 

Unmarried at that time, Paul lived alone. ... He told me that he had 
been initiated by Kirpal Singh but was no longer affiliated with him. 
During one of my visits Paul pointed to some notebooks and binders on 
a shelf by his writing desk and said, "One day those are going to make 
me rich." At a later meeting he said, "To be successful in a big way, you 
have to have your own movement. Paramahansa Yogananda had his 
Self-Realization Fellowship; L. Ron Hubbard has his Scientology; Eck- 
ankar is my thing." 

Paul moved from Washington, D.C. and later wrote me from Seattle, 
Washington. . . . After his move to San Diego, I began to see his articles 
. . . about Eckankar. . . . Some . . . featured testimonials from his stu- 
dents who claimed that Paul had appeared to them in dreams and 
visions. When I next visited San Diego, Paul and I had lunch. ... I 
asked him about the claims of various people that he visited them in 
dreams and by astral projection. He chuckled, and said, "You know, if 
you tell people something long enough they'll start to believe it!" 

Since we were casual friends, Paul shared with me the progress of Eck- 
ankar and his plans for the future. Although some of the material he 
wrote is valid, he borrowed heavily from the writings of Kirpal Singh 
and from other sources. In the late 1960s a series of Paul's articles 
appeared in Orion Magazine, published by Christian Spiritual Alliance, 
based in Lakemont, Georgia. My articles were also published in Orion 
Magazine and I knew the editors very well. On one occasion they 
informed me that they had rejected Paul's then most recent article 
because he had used entire paragraphs from a book on Mental Science 
by Judge Thomas Troward. After that incident his articles were no 
longer accepted by the editors of Orion Magazine. I knew about this sit- 
uation long before David Lane wrote about [it] in his book, which was 
published years later. 

Paul's claim that he was representative of a line of enlightened spiritual 
masters was fiction. My impression of him was that he had a deep psy- 
chological need for recognition and to accomplish something that would 
impress others. During our private conversations he was friendly, lik- 
able and somewhat shy.^^ 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 109 

Harold looked at Paul's history and his acts of exaggeration, fact 
twisting, cover-up, and distortion and did what he could to rationalize 
them. He wrote about these questionable tendencies: 

But without realizing it, he was just practicing. Someday he would have 
a chance to take this teaching called Eckankar — maybe he didn 't even 
know the name then — and put it in front of people. . .^^ 

As discussed earlier, Harold's assertion that Paul perhaps didn't 
even know the name of Eckankar during these early years flies in the 
face of Paul's account of his history and Harold's confirmation of it. 
Paul had written that he studied under Eck Master Sudar Singh from 
age sixteen in India. If so, and if Eckankar existed — as it had to, since 
Sudar Singh was allegedly a real Eck Master — how could Paul not 
have heard of it? Why would Harold suggest this scenario unless he too 
was calling into question the veracity of the very history of Eckankar 
that Paul had so assiduously created? In fact, Harold not only questions 
this history but also virtually admits that it is not as Paul had repre- 
sented. Harold wrote: 

The ECK [spirit] teachings have been here from the earliest times, but 
they haven 't carried the name of ECKANKAR. They have been brought 
out under different names at different times. . . .^'^ 

Yet, Paul, without qualification, had written definitively about Eck- 
ankar 's history. He left no room for doubt that he was speaking about 
Eckankar as a teaching that has existed from the dawn of time, not in 
the pale and placid terms by which Harold was prepared to acknowl- 
edge its history. Further, Paul made no reference to any other teaching 
by any other name that had been used as a channel to transmit the Eck 
teachings, as Harold had suggested when he wrote, "They have been 
brought out under different names at different times. "^o Thus, without 
any such reference, Paul wrote: 

ECKANKAR, which is the mainstream for all religions, philosophies 
and doctrines, was the first to show the people of the earth, through 
appointed saviors, that. . . .^^ 

ECKANKAR created and comprises all the religious ideas of the lower 
worlds. Art, writing, music, and sculpture are only developments of the 
higher ideals of ECKANKAR.52 


There are no qualifications here! Harold's spin of Paul's version of his- 
tory runs into problem after problem. This is what happens when 
attempts are made to reconcile fiction and fantasy with fact and verity: 
the pieces do not fit. The apologist is left to create one implausible 
story after another or to subtly admit exaggeration and fabrication. In 
essence, this is what Harold was forced to do. In so doing, he was 
admitting that the founder of Eckankar had not told the truth. 

As we shall see, Paul's tendency to "embellish it even more" seems 
to have found its way into the writings that make up the bulk of early 
Eckankar manuscripts. Paul's skill as he "worked every angle on every 
job" is especially evident in his role as the creator and originator of the 
Ancient Science of Soul Travel. It cannot escape the reader that 
Harold's exquisite use of euphemism only clumsily obscures what 
would otherwise simply be called untruth. 

The Mysterious Paul Twitchell 

Paul had a special ability to create small historical falsehoods to 
chronicle his own life and add a note of mystery into the saga of the 
Vairagi Masters. Why would Paul spin such a yarn about himself? The 
answer seems to flow from his own description of his lineage. In 
describing the origins of one of his Eck Masters, Paul writes that he 
was bom 

... in the usual manner of the ECK Masters — very mysteriously. Few 
know how they are born, but some family often adopts them during their 
infancy and while raising them, one member of the family, who is adept 
at Soul Travel, teaches them at an early age. Most ECK Masters are 
born either in the high mountains or on some body of water.^^ 

Paul's lineage of Eck Masters was indeed mysterious. He was 
forced to construct a history for himself worthy of the standard he had 
set. Paul's great misfortune was that he wrote his numerous books at 
the dawn of the computer age. How could he have known the ease with 
which information could be checked and challenged, and the truth dis- 
seminated to millions at the push of a button? Most religions, as we will 
see in Chapter 12, have hundreds if not thousands of years to create and 
bury the truth of their origins. In time, myth circulates as truth, and 
there is little opportunity to challenge it. This is not the case for Paul 
Twitchell and Eckankar. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 111 

To some, these revelations are just a picaresque tale of a creative 
individual who wanted to add interest and mystery to his writings. 
They would argue that Paul should not be taken too seriously. Harold, 
in his defense of Paul, simply called him a "rascal," a quaint term that 
glosses over behavior that would more rightly be described with a 
harsher word. The yarn that Paul spun was far more extensive than 
Harold was prepared to reveal to the faithful. However, before we 
euphemize Paul's writings as sales puffery, we must return to the stan- 
dard by which Paul Twitchell and the works of Eckankar are to be 

Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true 
and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to 
deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, 
then chaos will reign in our lives. '^^ 

The chaos that will follow the revelations in this book will not be of 
my making. Instead, it will follow the pattern that Paul so accurately 
predicts in his pronouncement on truth. Unfortunately, Paul did not 
heed his own advice. His reckless disregard for truth created an unsta- 
ble foundation that will prevent Eckankar from reaching the heights he 
envisioned. The result will instead be ongoing chaos and tension in the 
ranks, which can only be ended by seeing the truth and moving on. 

As the real Paul Twitchell is revealed, a foundation will be con- 
structed that will enable Eckists and non-Eckists alike to fathom the 
extent of what he did. Without this foundation, it will be virtually 
impossible to even conceive, much less comprehend, the extent of 
Paul's deception and fabrication. 

Device Two: A Failure of Attribution 

Plagiarize: To steal and pass off [the ideas or words of another] as one 's 
own: use [a created production] without crediting the source: to commit 
Uterary theft: present as new and original an idea or product derived 
from an existing source. 

Plagiarist: One who engages in an act of plagiarizing.^^ 

Plagiarism has both legal and moral aspects. The legal part 
involves the protection of a person's creative work so that another can- 
not take credit for and or financially benefit from it under false pre- 
tenses without violating the law. This is the purpose of copyright laws. 


There is an exception called "reasonable use," which permits an indi- 
vidual, under specified circumstances, to quote an author without 
requesting or receiving his or her permission. Even in this exception, 
the writer must acknowledge the source and give credit to the author. 

Apart from the legal component of plagiarism, there is also a moral 
one. Such acts are dishonest, for they seek to mislead the reader into 
believing that the plagiarist is responsible for something that he is not. 
Acts of plagiarism can range from the purely accidental to the blatant 
lifting of paragraphs and pages, which cannot be construed as acciden- 

In the case of Paul Twitchell, plagiarism reaches such a level as to 
legitimately get him into Ripley 's Believe It or Not. Indeed, I would 
venture that his plagiarisms are among the most widespread and sys- 
tematic in the history of literature. In referring to Paul's book. The Far 
Country, David Lane writes: 

The work, amazingly, contains well over four-hundred paragraphs from 
Johnson's two books, The Path of the Masters and With a Great Master 
in India, without so much as a single reference note to them. It is likely 
that almost one-half of The Far Country is not of Twitchell's pen.^'^ 

Thomas Mallon in his book Stolen Words summed up my own reac- 
tion to the plagiarist: 

I was, through my research, eventually, and much more than I expected 
to be, appalled: by the victims I learned of, by the audacity of their pred- 
ators, by the excuses made for the latter. '^^ 

Mallon relates a particularly interesting story of one Charles Reade 

Like the thundering evangelist who dallies with the devil, he managed 
in one pugilistic lifetime to be both a loud champion of international 
copyright and a shameless smuggler of work penned on the other side of 
the English Channel. ^^ 

Charles Reade was part of a tradition among English playwrights in the 
1850s, who anglicized popular French plays and staged them in 
English theaters. This was made possible by a loophole in the 1851 
copyright agreement between England and France. Not content with 
being a mere anglicizer, Reade desired to make a name for himself by 
borrowing copiously from the works of others and presenting them as 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 113 

originals. Ironically, he condemned literary piracy and was one of the 
leading advocates of his time for the enforcement of tighter copyright 
laws. Those who studied him marveled at the contradiction he embod- 
ied and the sheer audacity with which he engaged in plagiarism. Reade 
even went so far as to call this a type of kleptomania. ^^ 

Venturing a final hypothesis on the case of Reade, Mallon asks: 

Was he one of those people who just can't get it? Was he like the school- 
child who submits a published poem to a contest as her own and when 
caught is baffled, since she thought her discovery of it in a book made it 
her own? Reade was capable of making such bizarre statements about 
plagiarism — "A book-pirate may often escape by re-wording the mat- 
ter, because in many books an essential feature is the language" — that 
one sometimes wonders whether parts of his mind were quite right. . . . 
The truth is that he can be explained in the algebra of most compulsions. 
He stole because he hated stealing and he hated stealing because he 
stole. «o 

Twitchell and Reade are remarkably similar. For example, Paul 
castigated the "fakers" who would enhance their standing by "thiev- 
ing" the works of others: 

All philosophers, preachers and sages who have the odor of philosophy, 
religion and knowledge are not any of these. They are pretenders, those 
who have pretended to have undergone the profound experiences of 
God; the faker drawing on experiences of real mystics, and the thieving 
of turns of speech and materials in hope of conveying a conviction of 
genuineness. ^1 

To label these words ironic is an understatement. The extent of Paul's 
plagiarism is so great that a web site called the Center for Twitchellian 
Plagiarism is devoted to finding new instances of his literary piracy. "52 
Early members of Eckankar had an idea, from their own studies or their 
direct work with Paul, that the writings of others appeared, without 
attribution, in some of Paul's manuscripts. Dr. Louis Bluth, the first 
President of Eckankar, says that he specifically pointed this out to Paul, 
who gave a glib response and moved right along doing the same thing: 

He borrowed my books of Radha Soami and copied a large share from 
them. I helped him write the Herb book. ... I confronted him with what 
he had done and his answer was "since the author of the book said it bet- 
ter than I could, I copied it." The trouble is that he never gave anyone 
credit as to where he got it.*^^ 


Public revelations of plagiarism in Paul's writings started more 
than twenty years ago, when the then student David Lane, in a college 
term paper, first levelled the charge. That document evoked a threaten- 
ing letter from Eckankar's attorneys, promising a lawsuit if Lane pub- 
lished his work.«54 Sensing that the threat meant he was on to 
something. Lane redoubled his efforts. 

In time. Lane wrote a second paper that bears the name of his even- 
tual book. The Making of a Spiritual Movement: The Untold Story of 
Paul Twitchell and Eckankar^^ His book and a similar work (based on 
Lane's book) by a Christian organization called the Spiritual Counter- 
feits Project created a storm throughout the Eckankar movement. I 
remember students of Eckankar from all over the world seeking my 
opinion about these books and their significance to Eckankar. Both 
works were and are taboo subjects in Eckankar. The unwritten motto is: 
"Don't ask, don't tell, don't read." 

When I first read Lane's book, I was upset to say the least. Though 
many of his conclusions and inferences were questionable, his evi- 
dence seemed unimpeachable. The valiant efforts of Eckists over the 
Internet to defend the faith were feeble and sometimes embarrassing. 
However, as Lane was an outsider, I knew that he could not know the 
whole story. After a long, tortuous, and silent struggle with Lane's rev- 
elations, I emerged with a renewed sense of dedication. In spite of the 
facts presented. Lane's work never undermined the core truths and 
principles that Paul had espoused, even if they were plagiarized. 

At that time, I had not made the connection between the standards 
of truth to which I personally adhered and those to which my "hero," 
Paul Twitchell, seemed oblivious. In addition, I had no idea of the 
extent of Paul's deception. It was beyond my comprehension that any- 
one could do such things. At the time, I reasoned that Paul was dealing 
at such a high level of spirituality that he did not have time to adhere to, 
or was even above, the standards of truth by which we mortals had to 
live. Indeed, all truth is from spirit, I reasoned, and Paul probably 
tapped into the same source as the original author — perhaps even from 
the same inner location. This would be a simple feat for one who 
claimed to be "God made flesh on earth. "^^^ All manner of explication 
is marshaled to preserve the sanctity of cherished heroes and dreams. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 115 

Besides, my inner spiritual experiences confirmed the validity of the 
spiritual works; nothing, not even the writings of a detractor like Lane, 
could take these away from me. 

The events of November of 200 1 , when I brought Graham For- 
syth's journal to the attention of Harold, set all this on its head. They 
also reopened suspicions that had first appeared when I initially read 
Lane's expose. I reread his extensive account of Paul's deceptions, but 
this time without the blinders of a true believer. 

Lane's work greatly aided my examination of plagiarism in the 
writings of Paul Twitchell. So too was the laborious research of Eckists 
and former Eckists, displayed all over the Internet. They obviously felt 
a commitment, as did I, to find the truth, and make it available to those 
still trapped by the doctrines of deception throughout Eckankar. I thank 
each of them for his or her extraordinary work without which my 
efforts would have been far more difficult. 

Examples, taken from a variety of Eckankar books show Paul's 
remarkable talents as a plagiarist. Plagiarized segments abound in prac- 
tically every Eckankar book published under the Paul Twitchell name. 
Comparisons of Paul's The Far Country, which appears to be the most 
extensively plagiarized of all of his works, with passages from earlier 
writings by Julian Johnson demonstrate systematic theft. Let us com- 
pare passages from the two writers: 

Johnson: We ought to remember the words of Vivekananda about 
churches, and religions in general. We could not say it better, so let us 
quote him: "... A man may believe in all the churches in the world; he 
may carry in his head all the sacred books ever written; he may baptize 
himself in all the rivers of the earth — still if he has no perception of 
God, I would class him with the rankest atheist. And a man may have 
never entered a church or a mosque, nor performed any ceremony; but if 
he realizes God within himself, and is thereby lifted above the vanities 
of the world, that man is a holy man, a saint, call him what you will..."^^ 

Twitchell: "Now a study of the Divine SUGMAD is in order" said 
Rebazar Tarzs, dropping upon the floor and putting his legs one over the 
other in a lotus position. ... "A man may believe in all the churches in 
the world; he may carry in his head all the sacred books ever written; he 
may baptize himself in all the rivers of the earth, — still if he has no per- 
ception of the SUGMAD, I would class him with the rankest atheist. 
And a man may never enter a church or a mosque, nor perform any cer- 
emony; but if he realizes the SUGMAD within himself, and is thereby 


lifted above the vanities of the world, that man is a holy man, a saint; 
call him what you will."*^^ 

This is a remarkable example of plagiarism — though a careless 
one, for several reasons. First, note that Julian Johnson is quoting 
(appropriately) the words of Vivekananda. Yet Paul, recreating the 
scene as another drop-in by Rebazar Tarzs, pretends that Tarzs is utter- 
ing Vivekananda's words. This is a common device used by Paul to 
take the words of others and attribute them to one or more of his created 
line of Eck Masters. This clever example of plagiarism is particularly 
revealing because, on the very next page of Johnson's book, Johnson 
continues with words of his own composition, having ended his quote 
from Vivekananda. Yet, Paul continues to attribute the words to Reba- 
zar Tarzs, as if he is giving an uninterrupted discourse. Paul has thus 
combined the words and ideas of two people and placed them in the 
mouth of his presumed master without regard for who is uttering them. 
Here is another example: 

Johnson: First of all, it is not di feeling. Secondly it is not a metaphysical 
speculation nor a logical syllogism. It is neither a conclusion based upon 
reasoning nor upon the evidence of books or persons. The basic idea is 
that God must become real to the individual, not a mental concept, but a 
living reality. And that can never be so until the individual sees Him. 
Personal sight and hearing are necessary before anything or anybody 
becomes real to us.'^^ 

Twitchell: First of all, it is not a feeling. Secondly, it is not a metaphysi- 
cal speculation, nor a logical syllogism. It is not a conclusion based 
upon reasoning, nor upon the evidence of books or persons. The basic 
idea is that the SUGMAD must become real to the individual. Not a 
mental concept of IT, but a living reality. This can never be until the 
individual sees IT. Personal sight and hearing are necessary, before any- 
thing or anybody becomes real to us.^° 

This example puts to the lie Eckankar's continuing claim that Paul "got 
it on the inner," where such wisdom is available to everyone and, pre- 
sumably, in the same words. Even if one is gullible enough to buy this 
argument — supported by Harold's "astral library theory" (discussed 
below) — it stretches mystical credulity. To suggest that the same 
quotes from Vivekananda would be on the same pages as the writings 
of Johnson, in an astral library copy, virtually word for word, is simply 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 117 

beyond belief. Of course, there is the additional matter of Paul's asser- 
tion that he was told this — quotes and all — by Rebazar Tarzs. 

The King James Version Lives! 

Another classic example of Twitchellian plagiarism is this much 
quoted passage in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad attributed to Eck Master Lai 
Tsi. Paul writes (Lai Tsi speaking): 

Here is a short contemplation seed which I found in myself upon return- 
ing from the heavenly worlds: 

"Show me thy ways, O SUGMAD; 

Teach me thy path. 

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me; 

On thee do I wait all day. 

Remember, O Beloved, thy guiding light 

And thy loving care. 

For it has been ever thy will. 

To lead the least of thy servants to Thee!"^^ 

The origins of this contemplation seed are from a source familiar to 
most. It seems that Paul was not above plagiarizing from the Bible 
either. The King James Version reads: 

Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, 
and teach me: for thou art the GOD of my salvation; on thee do I wait all 
the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kind- 
nesses; for they have been ever of old.^^ 

Paul had to work harder on this one, but the flow and tenor of the 
two passages are virtually the same. In the search for plagiarisms, this 
constitutes a find. 

The Toothless Tiger 

One of the most revered books in Eckankar is Paul's The Tiger's 
Fang, din account of his spiritual travels into the inner worlds and his 
eventual ascension to the God-Realization experience. It is regarded as 
a road map of the inner journey that all souls will take to reach the high- 
est plane in the region of Sugmad (God). Aside from changing the 
name of the master, Kirpal Singh (whom he acknowledged actually 
accompaned him on these inner journeys), to his averred master, Reba- 
zar Tarzs, Paul plagiarized extensively from the spiritual works of oth- 
ers. Here are examples of critical passages that he lifted from Walter 


Russell's, The Secret of Light 7^ These passages are integrated into a 
description of Paul's excursion into the "world of Soul, that of pure 
light and so brilliant. . . . The king of this mystical world lives in a tem- 
ple .. . overlooking his worlds. "^"^ Having set this magical scene, Paul 
falsely attributes the words of Russell to the "God" of this plane, whom 
he called Omkar or Parabrahm. 

Russell: God is consciousness. Consciousness is static. ^^ 

Twitchell: Know this that God is consciousness and consciousness is 
static. . . .''^ 

Russell: Consciousness is the spiritual awareness of Being, of all-know- 
ing, all-power and all-presence. . . . Thinking is the motionless principle 
in light which creates the illusion of motion. ^^ 

Twitchell: Consciousness is the spiritual awareness of Being, of all- 
knowing, all-power, and all-presence. Thinking is the motionless princi- 
ple in light and sound which creates the illusion of motion. . . .^^ 

Russell: The Self of man belongs to the static, invisible, conscious, 
unconditioned universe of KNOWING. We express knowing in the 
dynamic, visible, electrically conditioned universe of sensation.^'' 

Twitchell: The Soul of man belongs to the static, invisible, conscious, 
unconditioned world of knowing. You express knowing in the dynamic, 
visible, electrically conditioned universe of perception. ^° 

Russell: Sensation is the electrical awareness of motion simulating the 
spiritual QUALITIES of the One Idea by creating imaged QUANTI- 
TIES of separate forms which seem to have substance. ^^ 

Twitchell: Perception is the electrical awareness of motion simulating 
the spiritual qualities of God, who creates imaged qualities of separate 
forms which seem to have material substance. ^^ 

Russell: Consciousness is real. Sensation simulates reality through 
motion of interchanging lights, but the mirage of a city is not the city it 
reflects. . . . Man is the only unit in Creation who has conscious aware- 
ness of the spirit within him and electrical awareness of dually condi- 
tioned light acting upon his senses. All other units of Creation have 
electrical awareness only.^^ 

Twitchell: Consciousness is real and perception simulates reality 
through motion of interchanging lights, but the mirage of a city is not 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 119 

the city it reflects. So man is the only unit in creation which has con- 
scious awareness of spirit within him and electrical awareness of dually 
conditioned light acting upon his physical senses. All other units of cre- 
ation has [sic] electrical awareness only.^'* 

Other parts of The Tiger's Fang abound with stolen sections he 
attributes to Rebazar Tarzs or the ruler of some higher plane. While this 
book is both lyrical and profound in many respects, it is nonetheless a 
deception, for it portrays Paul and his encounters with higher beings in 
a manner that is not true. However lofty, inspiring, and enlightening 
this work may be, once the truth is known, it leaves the reader with a 
sense of betrayal, because Paul has mixed spiritual ideals with lies and 

The Source ofEckankar Writings on the HU 

From Paul's writings and the emphasis placed on it by Harold, most 
Eckists believe that the HU originated with Eckankar and the Masters 
of the Vairagi Order. This is not so. The HU features prominently in 
Sant Mat and is believed to have derived from Sufi teachings. Paul's 
source was Hazrat Inayat Khan's book. The Mysticism of Sound and 
Music. Here is a comparison: 

Hazrat Khan: The Supreme Being has been called by various names in 
different languages, but the mystics have known him as Hu . . . the only 
name of the nameless. . . . The word Hu is the spirit of all sounds and of 
all words, and is hidden under them all, as the spirit in the body. It does 
not belong to any language, but no language can help belonging to it. 
This alone is the true name of God, a name that no people and no reli- 
gion can claim as their own.^'^ 

Twitchell: The Supreme has been called various names in different lan- 
guages, but it is known to those who recognize the real wisdom as HU, 
the name of the nameless one. The word HU is the Spirit of all sounds 
and of all words, and is hidden under them all as the Spirit of Soul. It 
does not belong to any language; no language can help belonging to it. 
This alone is the true name of God, a name that no people and no reli- 
gion can claim as their own.^'^ 

Paul chose a powerful concept to incorporate into Eckankar. No 
one can criticize him for that. All who have used this word and chanted 
it regularly will attest to the impact that it has had in their lives. Some 
Eckists distribute small cards containing the word HU with instructions 
on how to use it. Paul's decision to incorporate the HU into Eckankar 


was an important one. However, Eckankar, contrary to the admonition 
"no religion can claim (Hu) as its own," has virtually kidnapped the 
word, making all who hear it think that its origin is in Eckankar and that 
it is Eckankar's gift to the world. 

With such good intentions for the whole, why does Eckankar keep 
the origins of the HU a secret? Why kidnap the word and pretend that 
the Eckankar Masters originated it and passed it down to Paul Twitch- 
ell? What is wrong with telling the truth and honestly attributing the 
source of this insight? The answer is simple. The HU is one of the lock 
stitches in the fabric that Eckankar has woven about its origins and his- 
tory. If Eckankar acknowledges that the HU came from somewhere 
else, the primacy of Eckankar as the source of all religions on earth 
begins to fall apart. However, as we shall see when tracing the origins 
of the HU itself, it is not as Hazrat Inayat Khan proclaimed it. Rather, 
he took this Islamic word, which actually translates as the male pro- 
noun "he," and embellished it far beyond anything in Islamic scholar- 
ship. This, of course, does not make it effective or ineffective, but 
simply begins to place it in its proper historic perspective. However, 
the real origin of the word HU appears to be in ancient Egypt, not in 
Islam, s^ 

Paul and Harold perpetuated Kahn's embellishment and then 
usurped it by not revealing the origins of the HU (and countless other 
aspects of the Eckankar teaching). The dilemma Harold faces is that if 
he makes a concession to truth, a bit of the Eckankar dogma unravels. 
If he were to reveal the distortions, the truths would still remain to con- 
tribute to the spiritual consciousness of humankind. The difficulty in 
untangling Eckankar is that truth and distortion are so tightly interwo- 
ven that separating them is nearly impossible. Paul has created such a 
mythical, mystical mix (espoused most prominently in the Shariyat-Ki- 
Sugmad) that, even forewarned of fabrications, the reader is still drawn 
ever so seductively into his mythology and mysticism. 

I struggled with this problem as the truth about Eckankar revealed 
itself to me. In time, I was able to distinguish between myth and core 
beliefs still helpful in spiritual unfolding. I will share some of these 
insights in later chapters in the hope that they might be helpful to those 
who will face the same struggles I faced. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 121 

"/« My Father's House There Are Many Mansions" 

Eckankar's cosmology, or structure, of the inner worlds is also 
heavily plagiarized. Comparisons are again called for: 

Johnson: Next above Anda lies Brahmanda, the third grand division. 
This term means 'the egg of Brahm.' It is egg-shaped, hke Anda, but is 
much vaster in extent. It is also more refined and full of light, markedly 
more than the physical universe. ... In fact, spirit predominates in Brah- 
manda just as matter predominates in Pinda, while Anda is rather on the 
dividing line between the two.^^ 

Twitchell: Above the Anda world lies that which we call the Brah- 
manda, the third grand division, the "Egg of Brahm." It is like the Anda 
world, but greater in scope and immensity of space. It is also more 
refined and more full of light than any of the worlds below it. In fact. 
Spirit predominates the Brahmanda Plane, just as matter dominates the 
Pinda, while the Anda is in between. ^^ 

Comparing the sources of these two quotes, we learn that they 
share considerably more in common than this one selection. I was 
struck by how much Paul took from Johnson's book: changing some 
paragraphs enough that they appear dissimilar at first glance, yet 
express the same thoughts with many of the same words, though often 
in a different order. It amazes me how Eckankar can claim, in spite of 
extensive evidence to the contrary, that Paul did not plagiarize. It is like 
a jury that is shown the smoking gun, the bullet from the victim, a vid- 
eotape of the shooting, the victim's death proclamation naming the 
accused, and a motive of jealousy, and yet is still not convinced of the 
defendant's guilt. 

The cosmology in Eckankar's God Worlds Chart,^'^ is taken from 
the cosmologies of Sant Mat and Theosophy. A reading of Johnson's 
Path of The Masters demonstrates this conclusively. 

In examples such as this, Paul generally places his Eck Masters in a 
plausible historical context. Yet, he makes them, especially Rebazar 
Tarzs, the original thinkers, the "pioneers,"^i of various spiritual ideas, 
and the authentic masters become mere epigones of his fanciful cre- 
ations. ^^ xhis is a good illustration of Paul's art of weaving known spir- 
itual history with his mythical history of the Eck Masters in a manner 
that deceives the unwary. 


In acknowledging some connection with the cosmology of the 
Theosophical Society, Paul writes: 

What the Theosophical Society calls their planes, or what we know of 
them through the Vedanta group, never particularly bothered me, for 
they are all the same and we are not troubled with making comparisons. 
All we wish to do is to keep straight in our minds those various planes 
and the governments on each. I have used the names given by the 
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad which is the holy book of the ECK Masters of the 
ancient Vairagi Order. ^^ 

Paul concedes that there are other paths with names similar to those 
found in Eckankar. Yet, he claims that none of them is his source, and 
that he got the names of the planes from the holy book of Eckankar, not 
from these other paths. However, a reading of Johnson's Path of the 
Masters alongside Twitchell's Eckankar: Key to Secret Worlds reveals 
that the former is the real source of the names of planes and much of the 
text of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. 

Paul contradicts or at least greatly revises without explanation Eck- 
ankar's cosmology by arbitrarily changing it from one with eight 
planes to one with twelve. Somehow, over a short period, coinciding 
with the publication of the 1970 edition of the God Worlds Chart, 
heaven added four planes, four gods, and four sounds. In addition to 
changing the names of the planes, Paul added the Alaya Lok, the 
Hukikat Lok, and two others. 

The differences in Paul's two cosmologies are very significant. 
First, it shows that Paul originally copied the Sant Mat cosmology 
plane for plane, building the heavenly structure that he credited the Vai- 
ragi Masters with pioneering. However, around 1970, Eckankar 's 
vision of the inner worlds changed. What happened? Did heaven go 
through remodeling? Did someone sneak in and edit the Shariyat-Ki- 
Sugmad that Paul claimed was his actual source? We also have another 
problem: the sounds. 

The 1970 edition of the God Worlds Chart drastically altered the 
landscape Paul had previously outlined. The sound of thunder was a 
sign to Eckists that they were on the Brahm Lok (Trikuti), but the 
sound seems to have shifted to the physical plane (Elam). Bells for- 
merly alerted the traveler that she was on the astral plane (Sahasra dal 
Kanwal), but now she finds herself on the causal plane. Moreover, the 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 123 

note of the flute, that glorious sound that alerted spiritual travelers of 
their arrival at Bhanwar Gupha (Mental Plane), now heralds their entry 
into Sat Nam (Soul Plane). With the rearranging of planes and sounds, 
it's easy to see how hard Harold's job is. He must straighten out the 
pretzel course of truth Paul left for him to untangle. 

One final note on Paul's dishonesty is in order. His deceptions were 
not limited to his published books but extended also to correspondence 
with his wife, Gail. In a series of letters written to her before their mar- 
riage, Paul expounded on various esoteric matters in order to instruct 
and educate her. She obviously believed that this insight was coming 
from Paul and was apparently quite impressed. Everyone who read 
these letters was equally impressed. They were eventually published in 
several volumes called Letters To Gail. Unknown to Gail and the origi- 
nal publishers, Paul had copied a large portion of the content from a 
variety of published sources. ^^ He apparently never told her the real 
source, since they were later published with Gail's permission. (One of 
the volumes oi Letters to Gail was eventually discontinued.) This is 
part of the pattern of the plagiarist. Deception became a habit until it is 
quite possible that Paul no longer considered that he was involved in it. 
He made it his by copying and transmitting it, and apparently for him 
that was enough. Eventually, word came to the Eckankar office that the 
books contained copyrighted materials, many taken from the works of 
Paul's early mentor, L. Ron Hubbard, of Scientology fame.^'^ 

The last irony in the saga is Paul's reaction when a former Eckan- 
kar student, John-Roger Hinkins, decided to start his own equally dubi- 
ous path (the Church of the Movement of Spiritual Inner Awareness, 
MSIA) and "borrowed" heavily from Paul's "writings." Paul hit the 
roof and threatened Hinkins with a lawsuit. ^^ From all accounts, 
Hinkins and MSIA have followed in the tradition of Paul Twitchell and 
Eckankar and have even added to the scandal associated with some of 
Eckankar 's progeny. ^^ 

There are hundreds of examples of Paul's plagiarism that could be 
cited. Various web sites and Lane's book will lead to a treasure trove of 
additional evidence for those who may need more convincing. s's 


In Defense of Plagiarism: the Apologists Speak 

Sensing the damage that the pubHcation of David Lane's research 
would have on Eckankar, its lawyer, Alan Nichols, attempted to refute 
the charge that Paul had plagiarized the works of Julian Johnson. He 
wrote in a letter to Lane in 1977: 

With a wide background of study you will find many similarities both 
approximate and exact in many religious statements, history and myth- 
ology. . . . How did you know Johnson didn't obtain his information 
from Twitchell or Rebazar Tarzs {sic~\ or some other common source? 
Don't be surprised that many people find the same truths and even in the 
same words, commandments, etc., whether they are concepts, stories of 
events, or levels of God Worlds or consciousness.^^ 

The argument is a stretch to say the least. As an attorney, he would 
surely not make such an argument in a court of law. At that time, it rep- 
resented Eckankar 's official position and remains so today. If Eckan- 
kar's argument were accepted, it would stand the entire moral-ethical- 
legal foundation of creativity on its head. Moreover, the argument fails 
for one basic reason. Granted, ideas are ubiquitous and are received and 
expressed by different individuals as original expressions. However, 
each person's expression of an idea is unique. No two things in the uni- 
verse are exactly alike. No cell in our body, no fingerprint, no voice- 
print is exactly the same. The proposition that two people would 
express hundreds of paragraphs in an identical manner is to stretch cre- 
dulity to the breaking point. And to suggest that Julian Johnson may 
have copied his book from Paul, who arrived on the scene twenty-four 
years later, is to extend the argument to the ridiculous. No, there is no 
plausible explanation but that Paul was one of the most prolific plagia- 
rists of his time. 

The Master Compiler Theory 

As the principal defender of the faith, Harold attempted to explain 
away some of Paul's idiosyncrasies without referring to the accusations 
of plagiarism. Harold employed the euphemism of "master compiler:" 

Paul gathered up the whole teaching and took the best. Though it may 
be a strange thing to say, in this sense I see him as a master compiler. i°° 

It is true that there is much chaff and little wheat in the vast fields of 
spiritual writing during both Paul's day and our own. Yet Paul's "com- 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 125 

piling" seemed to be limited to a single row in a very small field. Paul 
was fortunate to have hit the jackpot early in his Eckankar book-writing 
days. Most of his compiling was taken from the books of Julian 
Johnson, Ruhani Satsang (Kirpal Singh's path), Hazrat Inayat Khan, H. 
P. Blavatsky, L. Ron Hubbard, Walter Russell, the Bible, Lama 
Govinda, and Neville. Visions of Paul, with thousands of books gath- 
ered from all over the world and picked through to find the gems that he 
included in his many books, is what I once imagined. This is the vision 
that Eckankar would still have its followers believe. 

If one takes a trip to the Center for Twitchellian Plagiarism loi on 
the Internet, a distinctly different view is advanced. It is not as altruistic 
as Harold makes it sound and certainly not the feat of creative culling 
and benign interpolation that Eckists believe. Instead, one finds evi- 
dence of a clever and accomplished plagiarist, who assiduously pil- 
fered the works of a select group of authors. He claims their ideas as his 
and, through the clever insertion of his own mythology, converts their 
words into the doctrine and substance of Eckankar. Even books like 
The Tiger 's Fang, which I had always assumed to be Paul's actual jour- 
ney into the God worlds, is so rife with plagiarism that one wonders if 
or to what extent Paul ever had inner journeys. This is not "compiling" 
and these "high teachings of ECK" were not "scattered to the four cor- 
ners of the world. "i°2 Instead, they were contained in a library 1/100 
the size of even my modest library and culled for the nuggets of truth 
that Paul claimed as his own. 

The Astral Library Theory 

Harold's creativity was at its best when he gave life to the idea of an 
"astral library." In this esoteric locale, presumably, the original ver- 
sions of spiritual books are there to be copied. In Harold's view, Paul's 
plagiarism becomes merely a visit to an inner library. He wrote: 

I'd like to conclude by mentioning how the libraries on the inner planes 
work. On these planes there are main libraries connected to the wisdom 
temples. But there are also many branch libraries. . . . Most of the writ- 
ers from earth go to the branch libraries, so they don't get to use the best 
sources. But the good researchers — such as Paul, Julian Johnson, Paul 
Brunton, and others — can come in here and select the paragraphs that 
suit their audience.. . . In the margin next to the different paragraphs on 
the manuscript I was reading were notes written in Paul's hand: ''Far 


Country,'' '' Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad . . . and so on. Under his notes a librar- 
ian researcher had placed the specific page reference where these ideas 
could be found in current manuscripts. ^°^ 

It is hard to imagine a dream more ably orchestrated to meet the chorus 
of accusations about plagiarism that plagued Eckankar before and dur- 
ing the spring of 1984, when this talk was given. But, it is just a little 
too convenient. A room accessible only to the "good writers" like Paul 
and those from whom he plagiarized? Please! 

This explanation is so nonsensical that it betrays desperation. I 
believe that Harold had a dream. I believe that it may have been exactly 
as he describes it. But, to write about it as though it is a true and factual 
description of an actual "astral library" from which all ideas come, is 
something else. By failing to label it a dream or even an inner experi- 
ence, subject to the same subjectivity and personal tailoring of all 
dreams, is to be disingenuous. Harold rejected seven years of spiritual 
experiences of a chela as, essentially, the work of the Kal. Yet, he puts 
this experience forward as a true and factual explanation of how Paul's 
writings seem to be identical to those of so many other writers. 

It is certainly true that everyone receives inspiration and ideas in 
the dream state, in flashes of insight in the waking state, and in numer- 
ous other ways. However, to imply that writers simply go inside with a 
note pad and copy whatever they need for their next paragraph or book 
is to trivialize the laborious, iterative process that all writers know. 
Even if two writers have the same idea at the same time, which is cer- 
tainly possible, each writer will express that idea in a manner that is his 
own. The probability of literally thousands of sentences and paragraphs 
being identical, including quotes and mistakes, is so low as to be 

From Sow 's Ear to Silk Purse 

In spite of the pall that revelations about Paul's plagiarism cast on 
the teachings of Eckankar, it is important not to lose sight of a great 
spiritual principle implicit in the Law of Opposites. This Law postu- 
lates that everything contains within it the seeds of its opposite. From 
this principle, we see good emerging from evil, and evil emerging from 
good. All things contain their opposites and have both negative and 
positive aspects existing coterminously. Paul's plagiarism nevertheless 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 127 

conveyed spiritual truth, for he purloined passages from truly great 
spiritual works. For that, I remain grateful. This is the reason Eckankar 
has survived in spite of Paul's dishonesty. 

After first learning about Paul's literary piracy, I was more con- 
cerned about the truth contained in his pilfered selections than the fact 
that they weren't his. My daughter put it succinctly. She described a 
hand with fingers curled and index finger pointing, noting the impor- 
tance of focusing on where the finger was pointing (truth) rather than 
the shape of the curled fingers (the source of the truth). Her analogy 
captured the essence of my approach to Paul's writings. I had learned a 
great deal from his books — plagiarisms and all. They greatly contrib- 
uted to my understanding of higher consciousness. 

However, this does not excuse or exonerate him. Paul's struggles 
with truth, from his early years through his last days, bring into ques- 
tion the validity of his mastership and his level of spiritual awareness. 
But we cannot question his brilliance. However, genius is not spiritual- 
ity or mastership. The most ironic aspect of this probe into his plagia- 
rism is the sense that he might have been capable of these insights on 
his own — a curious disposition of many plagiarists. In either mis- 
guided haste or covetous thievery, they commit acts that are unneces- 
sary yet, for them, unavoidable. 

The simple person who speaks "the truth, the whole truth, and 
nothing but the truth" is the true master. Truth is the quintessential 
expression of God-love and God-reality. Only a person who can speak 
the truth is capable of expressing the nature of the divine. Anything less 
brings chaos, for as Paul instructed: 

Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true 
and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to 
deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, 
then chaos will reign in our lives. 1°^* 

Device Three: Substitution and Association 

The device of substitution and association involves replacing 
names found in an original published work with new names or words in 
another published work. This device enabled Paul to create new ideas, 
words, and persons necessary in the formation of his new world reli- 


The creation of myth and its transmutation into historical fact is 
difficult and time-consuming work. Like the magician who performs 
his legerdemain with everyone watching, Paul constructed a religion, a 
line of masters, and a revered position for himself, in full view of the 
world. He almost got away with it but for the paper trail that he left and 
the Internet that blossomed in the nineties. Paul started spinning the 
tale of his life with its mysterious and mystical components from an 
early age. Details of his date of birth, place of birth, and parentage were 
shrouded in such distorted and divergent accounts that confusion if not 
mystery was the result. 

In the early sixties, Paul's writing prowess could barely feed and 
house him. With a new wife and a new life, he was pressed for time and 
money. He wrote discourses and gave lectures to supplement Gail's 
income and make ends meet, but it wasn't enough. This work and her 
influence were the foundation and the motivation for starting Eckankar 
as a for-profit business. As his start-up venture caught fire and his stat- 
ure grew from cliff hanger to teacher to guru, Paul's vision of Eckankar 
began to take shape. 

As much as anything, this motivated him to take shortcuts in pub- 
lishing his books. Paul was aware that, if it were to have any legitimacy 
in a world filled with competitors, Eckankar had to have an impressive 
history and teaching. The simplest way to solve this problem was to 
make them up. Paul was quite aware that religious histories were filled 
with distortions, myths, tales, and dogma based on a few historical 
facts. While other religions had thousands of years to evolve, Paul did 
not have the time to wait. Besides, with his ingenuity and imagination, 
a perfectly plausible history and teaching could be crafted. To this end, 
Paul employed the devices of substitution and association to construct 

This is how the first of Paul's Eck Masters, Sudar Singh, made his 
appearance in print. Paul inserted Sudar Singh's name in an article he 
wrote for Orion Magazine, in which he leads Paul to Kirpal Singh, his 
actual teacher. Establishing an association between a real master and 
the spurious Sudar Singh in a 1964 article for public consumption pro- 
vided a measure of authenticity. Two years later, Rebazar Tarzs was 
born in a republication of the same article, this time in the booklet. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 129 

Introduction to Eckankar. Whereas the original Orion article refers to 
bilocation and Shabd Yoga, Paul replaces these terms with "Eckankar" 
in the new publication, 1°^ cleverly interweaving myth and fact. What 
followed was a systematic revision of his writings by substituting 
newly created Masters of the Vairagi for real spiritual teachers and 
masters with whom he had studied or been affiliated. 

An example of Paul's skill is seen in the serialized version of The 
Flute of God, published by Orion in 1966. Paul writes: 

I remember very well when Swami Premananda of India . . . said 
"When someone asked Bertrand Russell what his philosophy of life 
was, he wrote several volumes of books on the subject." i°^ 

When Illuminated Way Press published The Flute of God in 1970, 
Paul altered the text: 

I remember very well when Sudar Singh, the great ECK Master said, 
"When someone asked Bertrand Russell what his philosophy of life 
was, he wrote several volumes of books on the subject." i°^ 

Paul combines substitution and authenticity by association in this next 
example. In the earlier serialized version of The Flute of God, He 

When Jesus looked upon His People and said, "I cannot tell you more 
because you cannot hear the whole of Truth," He was saying that they 
were so far down the spiral of life they could not grasp His meaning. To 
tell them all would bring disorder into their lives, for once exposed to 
Truth, those not understanding develop hostility. ^°^ 

When this passage was republished by Illuminated Way Press in 1970, 
the text was changed to read: 

When the ECK Master, Gopal Das, looked upon his people and said, "I 
cannot tell you more because you cannot hear the whole of ECK," he 
was saying that. ... To tell them all would bring disorder . . . those not 
understanding develop hostility. . . . [Gopal Das] was wise in his ways, 
as was [sic] Buddha, Zoroaster and many other Masters who have come 
to this earth. . . .^°'^ 

Paul not only substituted his newly created master Gopal Das for 
Jesus, but also associated him with Buddha and Zoroaster in a declara- 
tion of their wisdom that lends credibility to his phantom master. 


In another example, Paul again substitutes the name of one of his 
Eck Masters for the name of Jesus, used in the original published 
manuscript, and associates the new Eck Master's name with another 
actual spiritual notable, Jalaluddin Rumi. Here is how Paul did it. In the 
text of the original manuscript of The Flute of God published in Orion, 
he writes: 

Therefore, the principal [^/c] involved here is: "We live and have our 
being in the Supreme Being," Jesus said it in anotirer way as "we move 
and have our being in God." Other savants e.g., Jalaluddin Maulanana 
[sic] Rumi put it in another way. . . . ^ ^° 

In the book form of Flute of God, he changed the text to read: 

Therefore, the principle involved here is, "We live and have our being in 
the Supreme Being." Lai Tsi, tire Ciiinese ECK Master, said it tiiis way, 
"we live and move and have our being in the SUGMAD." Other savants 
state it in a slightly different vein. For instance, Jalaluddin Maulana 
Rumi said. . . .^^ 

Aside from taking a statement attributed to Jesus and appropriating it 
for a new Eck Master, Paul adds to the credibility of his Eck Master by 
juxtaposing his name with that of Rumi, making his Lai Tsi (almost 
certainly a deliberate corruption of Lao-tse ^^ 2) seem real. Other exam- 
ples of this technique of substitution and association are too numerous 
for inclusion here.^" 

Another note of interest about Paul's art of substitution is a state- 
ment by a former editor of the ECK World News, an earlier Eckankar 
publication in newspaper format. In a personal interview with David 
Lane, he recalled his experiences with Eckankar 's unique form of edit- 

I have personally seen the name "Kirpal Singh" crossed out in the 
manuscript form oi Letters to Gail. The name "Sudar Singh" was writ- 
ten above it. I believe that Gail did the editing."'* 

We also see Paul reinforce his new name for God, Sugmad, which 
he introduced for the first time in his writings. Nothing is wrong with 
this in itself. We are all free to call God whatever we wish. But Paul 
created an expression for God and made it appear as an ancient name 
passed down from master to master. Eckists accept this name as an 
authentic expression of the Vairagi tradition handed down from the 
hoary past. Paul's failure to acknowledge that Sugmad is a creation or 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 131 

adaptation brings deception into the highest expression of human long- 
ing, the search for God. For in no literature other than in Eckankar, can 
the word Sugmad be found. "^ 

If the term Sugmad did exist, it existed exclusively on the inner 
planes, for it had no known expression in the outer world before Paul's 
use of it. And this despite the 970 former Eck Masters that supposedly 
walked this earth prior to him. It does seem odd that none of them was 
influential enough to have this presumably ancient name for God ever 
recorded in the physical world. Such is the suspension of rational 
thought that is required to accept Paul's explanation for this and numer- 
ous other concepts and doctrines in Eckankar. 

The device of authenticity by substitution and association is not by 
accident. On the contrary, Paul knew exactly what he was doing and 
did it repeatedly. The craft and skill that he employed would be the 
envy of any charlatan. Here are more examples: 

I am aware that there are many approaches to God. . . . What Mary 
Baker Eddy used as an avenue to Truth would be completely awry with 
that used by the Master Saint, Ramakrishna ... in the Vedanta religion . 
. . or . . . Moses or Shankcharaya . . . and even with that of the greatest 
Sufi Saint, Shamus Tabiz. . . ."^ 

A few paragraphs later, Paul writes: 

Here is an example of how it was explained to me in its elementary 
form. The great ECK Master, Fubbi Quantz, gave me this clue by the 
use of only two words. . . .^^^ 

In this example, Paul reels off a list of names known to most readers as 
having made substantial contributions to spiritual thought, then inserts 
the name of his Eck Master Fubbi Quantz, which, by association and 
close juxtaposition, confers credibility upon his creation. Several para- 
graphs later he writes: 

Development of the science of thought has brought man to the realiza- 
tion that prayer is not as Jesus was said to have taught, but is a fact of 
knowing, without reservation, that we live in the eternal NOW. Yaubl 
Sacabi, residing in Agam Des, the spiritual city in the Himalayas, states 
that "all is here now!"^^^ 

Here, Paul creates a disagreement between Jesus and a created master, 
Yaubl Sacabi, and even gives his address for an added touch of authen- 


When I first read these passages, I feh quite at home with these 
masters; they joined the pantheon of other masters about whom I had 
read and studied. As an unsuspecting Eckist, my critical faculties were 
not focused on the masters themselves. I focused on the reasonableness 
of the truth conveyed. I had no way of knowing, and no reason to sus- 
pect, that Paul was stealthily planting the names and reality of these 
Eck "Masters" in my consciousness. 

The Vairagi Masters are one of the most fascinating aspects of 
Paul's creation. This part of the fabric of Eckankar is woven so tightly 
that it takes close examination to find the threads that eventually cause 
it to unravel. We start with Paul's clear admission, "ECKANKAR, 
which I formed out of my own experience... ''^^^ and: 

The switchover from the Cliff-Hanger to ECK began taking place after I 
met my present wife, Gail. She insisted that I do something with my 
knowledge and abilities. '^^° 

An ancient teaching with a line of 970 former masters does not just get 
formed out of one's own experience or because one's wife insists on 
doing something with one's knowledge and abilities. The next in a line 
of leadership is quick to acknowledge his lineage and to pay tribute to 
those who came before him. Paul eventually does this, but only after 
he has had adequate time to construct the marvelous array of names, 
places, and events that make up the history of Eckankar and its mas- 

Paul was even late in acknowledging Eckankar itself, despite his 
avowed earlier training in this teaching and his later assertion in the 
"true account" of his life in The Drums of Eck, in which he describes 
the existence of Eckankar in the middle of the nineteenth century, ^^i 
One of the first articles that portrays the emerging popular writer who 
was soon to become the Living Eck Master, appears in a 1963 article in 
the Seattle Post Intelligencer entitled, "Paul Twitchell, Man of 
Parts. "122 Yet, Paul claims to have been guided and taught, since he 
was a boy of sixteen, by Sudar Singh and Rebazar Tarzs. Presumably, 
he was being prepared to assume the "Rod of ECK Power,"i23 also a 
piece of Twitchellian fiction. 

Paul borrowed and modified an ancient word to create the name 
Eckankar. The term Eckankar appears to be derived from a term Ekan- 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 133 

kar that means "One oneness, the body of oneness. "^^^ Eckankar was 
not officially founded until October 22, 1965, when Paul claims to have 
received the Rod of Eck Power from Rebazar Tarzs. In response to 
questions from Brad Steiger in his biography, Paul indicates that, 

. . . Rebazar Tarzs began to appear and give me intensive instructions. 
He had been appearing regularly in the later fifties, but he said that those 
sessions had only been designed to prepare me for the exhaustive drills 
which now faced me.^^^ 

Paul created a fifteen-year gap between the death of Sudar Singh 
and the resumption of his instruction in the late fiftiesi^s — a strange 
hiatus for one that would be the next Living Eck Master. However, as 
we have noted, Harold attempted to cover for this short coming by his 
assertion that Sudar Singh actually died in 1955. As we shall see, the 
only basis for this assertion appears to be a vague rumor gleaned by 
Eckist on an investigative trip to India. In spite of his claims of earlier 
knowledge of Rebazar Tarzs, Paul first acknowledges Tarzs' existence 
in a 1964 publication. This seems a belated way (about ten years late) 
to acknowledge the torchbearer of the ancient teaching he would some- 
day lead. In his earlier writings, Paul mentions not one of the names of 
the ancient brotherhood of Vairagi Masters until Sudar Singh appears 
for the first time in the January, 1964 issue oi Orion, where Paul says: 

I began my study of bilocation under the tutelage of Satguru Sudar 
Singh, in Allahabad, India. Later, I switched to Sri Kirpal Singh of Old 
Delhi. Both were teaching the Shabda Yoga. . . .^^^ 

Prior to this, there had been no mention of Sudar Singh, even 
though Paul later wrote that he first met him while in his teens, and 
claimed to have visited Singh's ashram in India. There is no evidence 
that any such visit to India to see Sudar Singh, or anyone else for that 
matter, ever occurred. Further, no Sudar Singh was ever found to have 
existed, even though Harold made a number of intimations and insinu- 
ations that he did.^^s it is speculated that the name Sudar Singh was a 
corruption of Sudarshan Singh, a real master who resided in Allahabad, 
India for a period. This name is discussed in one of the primary books 
that Paul plagiarized, and probably was his source as well as the source 
of Harold's attempt to establish the authenticity of Sudar Singh, ^^s 


It is particularly strange that Paul did not mention this great master 
even once prior to 1964. If Paul was born in 1909, as official docu- 
ments attest, even by Paul's timetable, he kept the name of this master a 
secret from the world for more than forty years. During that time, Paul 
wrote extensively about the many other masters with whom he had 
studied and who had influenced his work. The principal spiritual mas- 
ter mentioned throughout the period prior to the appearance of Sudar 
Singh was Kirpal Singh, Paul's actual master and teacher. Sudar 
Singh's name surfaced only when it became necessary for Paul to 
explain with whom he had been studying during the time he was actu- 
ally with Kirpal Singh. Since he had already burned his bridge with his 
former master, someone had to be substituted, and another cover-up 

Equally strange is Paul's description of Sudar Singh as a teacher of 
Shabd Yoga. Why would Paul not describe him as an Eckankar Master? 
After all, by Paul's historical reckoning, Eckankar was also the precur- 
sor of Shabd Yoga, and Sudar Singh was his first Eck Master. Why 
slight this most venerated of all religions along with his first master by 
claiming that he (Singh) was associated with a teaching other than the 
purported source of all spiritual teachings, Eckankar? The reason is 
rather clear. At this stage in the creation of Eckankar, Paul had not for- 
mulated the history and preeminence Eckankar was to assume, by 
Paul's hand, as the source of all known religions. At this stage he quite 
openly admitted to the authentic roots of Eckankar and its created mas- 
ters, namely, Shabd Yoga. 

Finally, given how meticulous Paul was about saving and sharing 
every shred of information about his life (remember his relentless self- 
promotion), it is difficult to imagine that, if the Eck Masters were real, 
he would not have written something, somewhere, about at least one of 
them before 1965. We know that he wrote extensively about his master 
Kirpal Singh, because copies of his correspondence with him are on 
file at Singh's ashram in India. It is also known that Gail transferred all 
of Paul's letters (he apparently made copies of everything he wrote) 
and other records to Eckankar (for a tidy sum) during the reign of Dar- 
win Gross. If there were any proof of the existence of these masters in 
Paul's writings or letters, then Harold would almost surely have 
brought it forward in defense. During the years that he attempted to 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 135 

clean up the Eckankar house by selectively revealing enough truth to 
neutralize Paul's critics, he made many startling admissions about Paul 
and his colorful history. But not once did he bring forth any evidence 
that supported Paul's claim of early association with Sudar Singh, any 
other Eck Master, or anything resembling Eckankar — except for the 
teachings of Kirpal Singh that Paul would eventually use. 

Device Four: Name Reversal, Letter Transposition, and 
Adoption — The Creation of the Vairagi Masters 

We have just seen how Paul used association and substitution to 
create the illusion of historical validity for the Vairagi Masters. We 
shall now reveal the clever and resourceful techniques he used to create 
the names of the Eck Masters. 

The technique of name reversal was used quite frequently to come 
up with an original and mystical name for a Vairagi Master. An inter- 
esting example of this is his creation of a fictional master living during 
the time of Emperor Vespasian in Rome ( 69 to 79 C.E.). History 
records the life of Hevidius Priscus, a Roman senator and part of a 
coterie of oppositional senators, who were thorns in the side of the 
Emperor. (Priscus was eventually exiled and later executed.) Accord- 
ing to Paul's account, an Eck Master also lived in the same period as 
this Roman senator and, went by the name of Priscus Hevidius. But 
history records no trace of him. In this example, Paul did not bother to 
disguise the real person by changing dates or historical references 
(Paul's Eck Master was also a Roman senator). He simply reversed the 
names of the real senator to create his new member of the Vairagi 

Another example of this technique is seen in the creation of the Eck 
Master Habu Medinet, who, according to Paul, lived in Persia around 
490 B.C. This name for Paul's Eck Master was taken from the name of 
an historical site called Medinet Habu, ("City of Habu" in Arabic), 
which is the site of the mortuary temple of Rameses III. The monu- 
ments in Medinet Habu, which was both a single temple and a complex 
of temples, were constructed between 1500 and 1100 B.C.E. 

In Paul's methodology, a name reversal, along with, in some 
instances, the transposition of a few letters, was all that was needed to 
take an historical name or place and transform it into the name of an 


ancient Eck Master. A similar technique is name combination. Here 
Paul takes two words, usually with some independent spiritual conno- 
tation, and combines them to form the name of an Eck Master. The Eck 
Master Asanga Kaya appears to derive from an historical figure from 
India and a word associated with enlightenment. Paul describes this 
Eck Master as the Adept of the Hukikat Lok (also invented by Paul in 
his restatement of the Eckankar cosmology) and guardian of the 
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad at the Temple of Golden Wisdom of Jertz Chong. 

The real Asanga lived in India around the fourth and fifth centuries 
C.E., and was noted for his selection and elaboration of spiritual and 
esoteric concepts into a full yoga system. Asanga was noted for found- 
ing, along with his brother Vasubandu, the Yogacara school of Bud- 
dhism, ^^o Kaya means "enlightenment body." Together they make up 
the name of Paul's Eck Master. 

Another example of this art of creation is the Eck Master Gopal 
Das. Gopal is another name for Krishna (God). Dasa means "slave" or 
"disciple." Gopal Das was Eckankar 's purported Living Eck Master in 
ancient Egypt. 

The second technique Paul used in his invention of the Vairagi 
Masters, letter transposition, was, judging by its frequency, his favor- 
ite. Paul would add, omit, or reverse letters in names of real historical 
figures in order to create a new identity and a new Eck Master. Here are 
a few examples: 

Lai Tsi was allegedly an Eck Master serving as guardian of the 
Shariyat in Arhirit. He is almost certainly adapted from the actual spir- 
itual master, Lao-tzu (sometimes spelled Lao Tse), referred to in a 
number of Paul's writings. ^^^ Lao-tzu is considered the father of Tao- 
ism. To achieve this magic, Paul simply dropped the last letter of each 
name and substituted an "i" in each space. 

Eck Master Appolonius of Tyano was, according to Paul, "a stu- 
dent of the Neo-Pythagorean pyramid." Paul started with a real histori- 
cal figure, Apollonius ofTyana, and then performed minor surgery. By 
simply adding a "p" he constructed the first name. The second name 
was even easier. Drop the "a" at the end and add an "o" and presto: a 
new Eck Master! The real Apollonius of Tyana was also a neo- 
Pythagorean from Greece, who was reputed to have magical powers 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 137 

and died in the second century C.E. Paul's Appolonius lived over the 
astonishing time period of 4,000 years (3000 B.C.E. to C.E. lOOO)!^^ 
and was considered a contemporary or parallel figure of Jesus. 

Descates, the Living Eck Master on the continent of Atlantis, was 
another invention. This name is a variation of the famous mathemati- 
cian and philosopher, Rene Descartes (1596-1650), often considered 
the father of modern philosophy. Paul easily achieved this invention by 
simply removing an "r." 

The third technique can be called adoption. In order to lend credi- 
bility to his ever-increasing line of Eck Masters, it was important that 
some of them be historical figures recognizable to the public. But in 
adopting the name of a known historical figure, it was important for 
Paul to select names whose detailed histories were lost to time. In this 
way, his claims could avoid rigorous scrutiny. Here are some of the 
names that Paul adopted into the Ancient Order of Vairagi Masters: 

• Plato. Paul claims the famous Greek philosopher as an 
Eck Master. Plato was of course one of the greatest philos- 
ophers of all time. He lived ca. 427-347 B.C.E. and 
founded a famous school in Athens known as the Acad- 
emy, where Aristotle studied. 

• St. Francis of Assist. Considered by Paul to be an "ECK 
Master who gave up personal attachments to give all to the 
cause of ECK." Actually, St. Francis was founder of the 
Franciscan order of Christianity and lived from 1181 to 
1226. There is no evidence he had any religious beliefs 
outside Christianity. 

• Chuang Tzu. A follower of Lao-tzu and the first to fully 
develop the Taoistic thesis of the rhythm of life, a feat that 
put him on Paul's list. He lived more than 2200 years ago, 
apparently innocent of any knowledge of the Vairagi 

• Quetzalcoatl. Ancient deity and legendary ruler of the 
Toltec in Mexico. It is unclear whether the ruler took his 
name from the god or was revered as a great ruler and later 
deified. Paul says he was the Mexican god who was a spir- 
itual teacher of Peddar Zaskq. 


In all, Paul gave names to about 125 of the 970 ECK Masters that 
he claimed preceded him. The popular explanation for why the remain- 
der of these Eck Masters was not named is that their tenure was not of 
particular historical note. It seems there were about 750 mediocrities 
who rose to become Living Eck Masters. 

Paul put an extraordinary amount of effort into creating his line of 
Eckankar Masters. I admit to a begrudging admiration for what Paul 
accomplished. He devoted the time and effort to come up with stories 
for 125 masters, a number high enough to suggest the plausibility of 
many hundreds more. After all, Paul had said that the lineage stretched 
back for as long as recorded time. Thus, he created enough stories to 
support the enormity of his fiction. 

The authenticity of the line of Eck Masters is the doctrine under- 
pinning the validity of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. For if the 
Eck Masters are not real, if there is no line except the one that Paul cre- 
ated, then the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, is an empty title. We are 
left with a position whose powers and responsibilities, relationship to 
the divine, and capacity to lead all souls back to God, is fabricated. The 
unpleasant truth is that, like the Wizard of Oz, the holy man of Eck 
must stand with his created history and his religion based on deceit, and 
answer the question of the faithful. Why? 

Has Harold bothered to explore the facts? Is he consciously leading 
the cover-up? Or, is he so convinced by and committed to Paul's fiction 
that he believes it has mysteriously and magically been transformed 
into what Paul claimed it to be? Actually, the latter explanation is quite 
likely. When a leader receives hundreds if not thousands of letters 
every month^^^ attesting to the wonders of the Mahanta, it is very easy 
for him to believe in his own myth. 

But this is not what causes it to work. A trip to any prayer tent or 
healing session will attest to the power of belief. It is never the leader, 
the priest, or the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master doing the work. It is 
always spirit in tandem with soul that is the true power. The student 
activates this power by belief in the teacher and the vortex of love that 
is established by him. When the teacher or master claims credit for this 
phenomenon, he usurps this power. It is a form of spiritual deception 
that, in the end, slows an individual's growth to higher consciousness. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 139 

An apple tree cannot grow from an ear of corn, nor can a path built on 
deceit lead to God. 

A related device that Paul employs, which makes the presence of 
the Vairagi Masters and the magic of Eckankar palpable, is the idea that 
these masters are everywhere and that we can meet them at any time. 
He says: 

Yet, for your information, they are still with us today to give the Truth to 
all mankind. Yes, there are many here, though some do not show them- 
selves to man. There are many who teach openly, and others who stay 
hidden in the deep recesses of the mountains, or those who walk among 
people in huge cities, not telling who they might be, but helping man in 
a way that is unknown to him! 

Did you ever meet a beggar on the street who made you wonder at his 
strange eyes, or his peculiar mannerisms? Care is needed in the exami- 
nation of the ones who fit such a description for they could be ECK 
Masters in disguise, designed this particular way to bring a blessing to 
any they encounter. ^^^ 

Adding mystery to life and seeing our fellow humans in a positive 
light is undoubtedly a good thing. I believe that there are persons who 
walk the streets doing good for other people. I believe it because I have 
done it myself, as undoubtedly have many others. But to attribute these 
actions to Eck Masters Paul invented in the sixties is to perpetuate a 
hoax. This particular hoax was useful in reinforcing the validity of the 
Vairagi Masters to Paul's followers. This idea so permeates the think- 
ing of many Eckists that, to this day, I still find myself looking behind 
the faces of beggars for an Eck Master. At least, Eckists have been a 
boon to the economy of beggars. 

Myths and illusions are part of the inner experiences of all human- 
kind. The higher self, working with spirit to teach and guide, uses them 
because they are the visions we accept and in which we have faith. 
Therefore, the images of these created masters serve as useful voices of 
inner truth of God communicated to that soul. Having cut his ties to the 
line of Radhasoami masters following his disaffection with Kirpal 
Singh, Paul could no longer claim lineage from this tradition. The mas- 
ters who made up this line of Sant Mat masters all lived and left foot- 
prints in the sand. Not one of the masters in Paul's Vairagi Order left a 


single footprint, except those, like Plato, who were posthumously 
impressed into service of the Vairagi Order. 

But even in those cases where Paul claims known figures from his- 
tory, such as Milarapa, the recorded history of their lives shows no 
trace of association with a path known as Eckankar or a line of masters 
known as the Vairagi. Indeed, Milarapa was a Buddhist whose every 
recorded action and word is consistent with the Buddhist tradition. 
Unless Milarapa, for example, chose to keep his association with Eck- 
ankar and the Vairagi Masters a secret, there is no credible explanation 
for Paul's claim of affiliation with Eckankar or the Vairagi Order of 

Device Five: Absorption of a Teaching — The Source of 
Structure, Terminology, and Practices in Eckankar 

Most Eckists are convinced of the ancient nature of Eckankar. They 
believe that its terminology, structure, and concepts originated with and 
are exclusive to this teaching. But, of course, this is not true. Eckankar 
is an offspring of Shabd Yoga (the teaching of the audible life stream), 
and more specifically, the Radhasoami Satsang tradition of India. 
Shabd Yoga is the true precursor of all teachings of the light and sound 
of God. Recall what Paul said in article for Orion: 

ECKANKAR, which I formed out of my own experience, is the term 
used for the philosophy I have developed for the Cliff hanger. It is based 
on Shabda-Yoga, a way out form of yoga. The word is Hindu locution 
for the cosmic sound current which is known in our vernacular as the 
cosmic river of God. ^^'^ 

Eckankar was not only based on Shabd Yoga and the tradition of 
the Radhasoami Satsang and its progeny the Ruhani Satsang, but it 
also took their vocabulary, initiations, concept of a Vi-guru, cosmol- 
ogy, and many other elements. There is nothing wrong with borrowing 
from other religions or spiritual paths. Every major religion owes parts 
of its ritual, tradition, and teaching to precursors. Christianity, for 
example, is built upon Jewish written works, as to a certain degree is 
Islam. Many of the rituals and important celebrations in Christianity 
are derived from pagan celebrations and practices. Celebration of 
Jesus' birth was moved to December to coincide with the pagan winter 
solstice celebrations. Converts to Christianity, it seems, refused to 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 141 

wholly abandon their rituals, so pagan celebrations were simply incor- 
porated into the Christian Church mythology, "s 

Syncretism, the selection and combination of different forms of 
belief, is the basis of all religions. Nothing starts from scratch or comes 
out of thin air. But Paul saw it differently. Even after having acknowl- 
edged that Eckankar was based on Shabd Yoga, he decided that his new 
religion should have a more illustrious place in history than that of an 
offshoot of some other teaching. It seems he concluded that if he 
wanted to create a new religion, why not link it to divine spirit and 
assert that it is the original teaching of God? Why not make all reli- 
gions offshoots of his? In this way, it would not only be historically 
irrefutable but also plausible, since everything comes from God (Sug- 
mad) through spirit. Clearly, this is exactly what he did. Once commit- 
ted to this course, Paul declared that Eckankar was the source of all 
religions in the world today and not derived from any other teaching. ^^^ 

But a religion that is the progenitor of all world religions must have 
a tradition that is ancient and original in every respect. How was Paul to 
pull this off? He had studied under another master for more than eight 
years and been exposed to the tradition of Sant Mat and Shabd Yoga. In 
that teaching, he had learned about the light and sound of God and had 
practiced a variety of spiritual exercises using the word HU (pro- 
nounced "Hooo" in Shabd Yoga) and other mantras to move into the 
inner worlds. He had been successful in traveling into these inner 
regions with his master and had written a book about their journeys. 

Paul felt that the Radhasoami teaching had the content, traditions, 
and approach that could be the basis for the teaching he was develop- 
ing. However, if he were to acknowledge his roots, he would not be 
able to make his claim that Eckankar is an ancient teaching and in fact 
the source of Sant Mat, Shabd Yoga, and all other spiritual paths. To 
accomplish this, he had to disavow his association with the teachings 
and Kirpal Singh. He did this by threatening to sue his former master if 
he dared reveal his past affiliation. An ocean and a culture away from 
India, Paul dared to appropriate aspects of the Radhasoami and Yoga 
teachings, make a few changes, and proclaim his creation, "Eckankar, 
the Ancient Science of Soul Travel." 


An interesting side-note to Paul's intention to proclaim Eckankar 
the source of all teachings is Harold's subtle attempt to tie Eckankar 
and Paul Twitchell to the Ruhani Satsang line of masters that Paul had 
earlier disavowed. In a particularly disingenuous passage, Harold 
implies that Paul was the fulfillment of a prediction allegedly made by 
Kirpal Singh to his followers in India: 

Kirpal Singh told several of his close followers that his line of master- 
ship would end with him [it did not], and that the mastership would then 
be picked up in one of the Western countries. But I sincerely wonder if 
he recognized Paul, a former chela, as being the carrier of this Light and 
Sound of ECK. 138 

This statement is quite remarkable. In spite of the fact that Paul had 
ended his relationship with Kirpal Singh on rather acrimonious terms, 
Harold tries to tie Paul's mastership to Kirpal Singh and the Ruhani 
Satsang teaching by implying that Paul was the person that Kirpal 
Singh was referring to, even though Singh had no idea it would be Paul. 
Harold provides no evidence that Kirpal Singh made any such predic- 
tion. Harold's statement appears to be an attempt to establish some 
legitimacy for Paul and his ascension to mastership by connecting Paul, 
by inference, to the Ruhani Satsang and the light and sound of Eck. 
This technique of inserting a new point of information, as if it were 
established fact, to bridge a gap in Paul's actual or fabricated history, is 
frequently used by Harold with great effectiveness. 

Harold accuses Kirpal Singh of trying to "possess truth" because he 
wrote a letter to a California organization telling them that Paul had 
borrowed Singh's work.^^^ Yet, Harold allows the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad 
and The Spiritual Notebook to go considerably further than merely 
"possessing the truth." Indeed, these writings assert that all truth comes 
from Eckankar, and that all historical events, inventions, creations — 
everything and anything that is of any value to humanity — has also 
come from Eckankar. ^ 4° 

Device Six: Truth by Detail 

To spin a good yam, especially one as complex and diverse as 
Paul's, it is important to provide detail. Paul was not only good at his 
craft but also prolific. It came naturally. In his private talks with chelas 
and friends, his inimitable talents at filling in the details of a story to 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 143 

make it more believable were never at rest. In this passage, transcribed 
from a series of conversations with chelas, Paul fleshes out the life and 
times of Sudar Singh, the first Eck Master he created in a well-con- 
structed story of his fictional excursions to France and India: 

We met with Sudar Singh who was the leading advocate at that time of 
Soul Travel. From Paris we decided that we would go back to his little 
ashram, which was five miles above Allahabad, on what they call the 
Old Canteen Road, near the army barracks where the native troops were 
bivouacked in at the time. It was a small place; I think he had about fifty 
maybe one hundred people that were there around him, and we found 
that life was pleasant. . . . 

[W]e were hoping to stay there for the Kumba Mehla, a meeting every 
twelfth year, where at the forks of the river there in Allahabad, they 
have a meeting of the holy men. ... He was rather a tall, lean man. He 
had a very lean face at the time, and he had started out as a Sikh in his 
life and changed later because he was in his early twenties when he 
came back to ECKANKAR.i^i 

Impressive detail, I admit. But we have seen he made no such trip 
to India. Harold attempted to prove the unprovable when he sent inves- 
tigators to India to establish the existence of Sudar Singh. They 
returned virtually empty-handed. Even with leads from Paul's tale such 
as "his little ashram," "five miles above Allahabad," "the Old Canteen 
Road," and "near the army barracks where the native troops were biv- 
ouacked in at the time," they were still unable to confirm any of the 
facts in Paul's description or any other independent evidence. Harold 

We have begun a search for records that will document the life of Sudar 
Singh, the ECK Master who served before Paul Twitchell. He was an 
elusive Master, and it's not easy to follow his trail. A few months ago I 
sent two individuals to India to see what they could find out. These 
ECKists found two businessmen who knew something about Sudar 
Singh. One of them remembered him as a very old man giving sermons 
in the marketplace. It was rumored that when Sudar Singh began his ser- 
mons, even the birds would stop singing. He had an eloquent manner of 
speaking, and his audiences were always attentive. Another person who 
had been a student of Sudar Singh said the ECK Master later left India 
and fled to Canada because of a political uprising similar to the one that 
took place after Indira Gandhi was killed. 

Some would like to believe Sudar Singh didn't exist, because then it 
would be easier to claim that there is no ECK history. So I'm looking for 


physical records, but I'm letting the initiates find the information for 
themselves. There are initiates looking all over, trying to establish a 
physical history for the linage of ECK Masters. Each time we find a 
record of one, we get a lead back to the one before him, thereby con- 
structing the history back as far as we can. 1^2 

This statement was published in 1990. In spite of the efforts of "ini- 
tiates looking all over," no evidence has been uncovered (or at least 
reported) to support the existence of any of Paul's masters. Given the 
ubiquitous names Sudar and Singh in India (much like John and 
Johnson in America) it is not surprising that Harold's representatives 
would encounter "someone" who remembers "someone else" with the 
name Sudar or Singh who may have been a master. David Lane has set 
forth a far more plausible explanation for the existence of Sudar Singh: 

Further suspicion about the actual existence of "Sudar Singh" arises 
when we learn that Twitchell's account of his master is based upon the 
life story of Baba Jaimal Singh, the founder of the Radha Soami Satsang 
at Beas. . . . Although it is only conjecture, it would appear that Twitch- 
ell coined the name "Sudar" from the longer name "Sudarshan," who 
was the nephew of Shiv Dayal Singh, the originator of the Radhasoami 
path. This same "Sudarshan Singh" also resided for a time in Allahabad, 
India. ... An interesting sidebar here . . . Sudarshan Singh died in 1936 
[about the same time Twitchell says that his Sudar Singh died]. ^^^ 

Harold is left with nothing more than the rumors of two business- 
men and his ability — in the finest tradition of the three Eckankar mas- 
ters — to weave yet another embellishment This time, he invokes the 
magical spirituality of the man to explain why no one took notes: 
"when Sudar Singh began his sermons, even the birds would stop sing- 
ing." But this has not deterred Eckankar from perpetuating and rein- 
forcing the mythology of the Vairagi Masters with picture drawings of 
their images and Paul's stories of their triumphs and good works. 
Indeed they are so real in the minds of Eckists that their images and 
inner reality resulted in Graham's unparalleled journal of inner experi- 
ences with them. Eckankar has normally — and selectively — used 
these recorded accounts as evidence of their existence, except, as in the 
case of Graham, if the inner experiences threaten the position of the 
Living Eck Master or the teaching itself. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 145 

Elsewhere, Paul goes into detail about his adventures aboard ship 
during World War II: 

[T]his was among the incidents which happened during the service . . . 
but finally when I did go out to sea, they put me on an old flat boat that 
ran between San Pedro and Nome, Alaska. Then I got tired of that and I 
asked for another ship which would take me off of what they call the 
milk-run. That took me way out into the Pacific. For almost a year, 
between the Central American countries, the California ports, the Ore- 
gon ports, the Washington ports, Alaska, Canada, all the way up to 
Nome, Alaska, and then out to the Hawaiians and return. I decided that I 
would like to have a better ship. A ship that would take me far out into 
the war zone. So I applied for and got a ship that took us out to the Oki- 
nawas [sic], to the Philippines, to all the central Pacific islands, down in 
to the south Pacific islands, and into Surabaya.... Now, we were never in 
actual battle; we skirted the battles and only one time did we have any 
problems, and that is we were once attacked by the Japanese fighter 
pilots, and then we were stalked by submarines, i"*"* 

"Join the Navy and See the World" seems to have been lived to the 
fullest in Paul's imaginary tour of duty. Some could listen to his capti- 
vating tale for hours on end. Such was the spell that Paul could cast. 
But even Harold, in his writings, has downplayed these stories; he con- 
cedes that none of this is true and that Paul was a member of the public 
relations staff at the Navy Department. This mere detail did not stop 
Paul from creating tall tale after tall tale that chelas would retell in the 
years and decades to follow. 

Throughout the works of Eckankar and particularly in The Tiger 's 
Fang, The Spiritual Notebook, and certainly in the Shariyat-Ki-Sug- 
mad, we can see the extraordinary talents of this weaver of detail, creat- 
ing the illusions that live in the unwary reader's imagination as truth 
and become the fabric of Eckankar today. 

Device Seven: The Techniques of Fear and Deception 

In a particularly revealing passage from a letter sent to his chelas, 
Paul provides sound advice on avoiding the tricks of fear that other 
masters use to trap their followers. Yet, even this advice is part of 
another device. When someone warns you of tricks others may play, he 
builds your trust and perhaps even lessens your suspicion that he is a 
trickster himself. Here is how Paul uses this device: 


The oldest technique of keeping the loyalty of the chela by many teach- 
ers is with fear. This is true in the methods of those teachers on the 
lower plane levels. Because they grow afraid of losing their chelas to a 
Master on the higher level, the old fear tactics will be drummed into 
those who desire to move away from the psychic plane elements into the 
God planes. These threats are very common. They usually go like this: 
"If you leave me, you will get caught in the astral and won't get out."^'*^ 

After warning the chela of what to look for and why some teachers 
indulge in fear tactics, Paul invokes the very same tactic: 

The wrath of the ECK crashes down upon anyone who is still a slave to 
the ego and deserts the Master. Not once will he see the connection 
between his betrayal of the ECK and the horrendous troubles that strike 
him down like a plague on every hand. And thus he goes downward on 
the spiral of awareness until he leaves this body in hopeless despair, still 
wondering why the fates have treated him so cruelly. ^ 4*5 

A threat of violence is added: 

Whosoever . . . shall divulge the secrets of his initiation . . . shall be 
deprived of his sight and tongue in order to never again be able to say 
anything about the degrees of initiation in ECKANKAR.^^^ 


To ridicule, to scorn, to speak mockingly of the words of the Mahanta, 
and not to have faith in him and the cause of ECK is to bring woes on 
the advocator of doubt. It brings his karmic progress to a halt, increases 
his incarnations in this world, and causes him to suffer untold hardships. 

The ignorant and the naive will never understand, nor shall they learn 
except by experiencing the slow death brought about by their own overt 
acts against the Mahanta and the ECK. This is actually creating overt 
acts against the SUGMAD.i^s 

And finally: 

But once the chela has become a member of the inner circle, he cannot 
resign. . . . Those few have found that spiritual decay sets in immedi- 
ately, affecting the health, material life, and spiritual life and brings 
death more swiftly. ^^^ 

And for those who have the temerity to see Paul's deception and revolt 
in an effort to free themselves from it, he has planted a final land mine: 

When the Living ECK Master's position is attacked by revolt, or by dis- 
satisfaction by the followers of ECK, he will defend himself Not in the 
way many would expect, but in ways that few can recognize. The 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 147 

defense will come from the inner planes, and by means of the ECK. 
Those who revolt or become dissatisfied cannot bring about any attack 
upon the Living ECK Master or his position in life. If they do, there is 
always the swiftest of retribution, which is not always recognized by the 
receiver nor [sic] those who might have observed the occasion. 1^° 

Many years ago, as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, our house- 
keeper refused to come to work because the local witch doctor had 
placed a curse that made her fear for her life. None of our confidence 
boosters could persuade her to return to work. Finally, she went to 
another juju man, who cast a powerful spell that she believed overpow- 
ered the first one. She then returned, much relieved that the power of 
the first curse had been dissipated. 

What Paul has working here is the same technique employed by the 
witch doctor. It is a technique used by those in power to keep people in 
check and frighten them into staying. Paul was not above this. But the 
more important point for those who desire to break this spell is to know 
that no master, or any other person, has control or power over us, unless 
we believe in his power and doubt the control we have over our own 
lives. There are countless stories circulating among Eckists about those 
who have left the teaching and fallen into harm's way. But these experi- 
ences, if true, are of their own making. They were infected by the 
curses that Paul had created and this infection (belief) caused the curses 
to manifest in their lives. 

Paul expounded other warnings to his chelas so they would be on 
guard for unscrupulous teachers who would practice other dark arts of 
control. He warns in the same letter: "Another cliche is: 'I've got the 
only path and if you leave it, you're in deep trouble. '"^^i Trusting Paul 
and knowing that he would never indulge in such a practice (after all, 
he just warned us), we find that he is no tyro in its use: 

Again and again I have pointed out that there is no other path than ECK. 
It is the original source from which all things spring, and anyone who 
tries another path is trying to start on a lower rung. It seems so foolish 
for anyone to use his human judgment in trying to select a spiritual path 
for himself, when it is laid out for him to move on to the original and 
only path to God.^^^ 


In a series of passages taken from Eckankar's Holy Book, Paul 
reinforces his second technique of entrapment: 

The teachings of ECK are the pure doctrine in this world. There are no 
others which can reach the same level as ECK.^-^^ 

Any initiate who violates the tenets of ECKANKAR will automatically 
be dropped out of ECK. This means that he will be put back in his spiri- 
tual unfoldment and will not have any opportunity for growth until the 
Mahanta, the Living ECK Master has reinstated him.^^^ 


Anyone who breaks away from ECK after receiving the initiation into 
ECK, will have to go through many future lives until he meets the ECK 
Master again and accepts him to be the Living ECK Master and surren- 
ders to him completely. ^^'^ 

It is not difficult to see why there is so much fear in Eckankar, and 
why chelas do not speak openly or ask some of the questions that trou- 
ble them. Throughout the Eckankar works, there are references to dire 
consequences that will befall anyone who speaks against the Mahanta, 
the Living Eck Master, the teachings of Eckankar, or who utters nega- 
tive statements regarding either. This curtain of fear is used, to some 
degree, in all religions to keep the faithful in line. But, surprisingly, it 
rises to a new level in the teaching of Eckankar. This is an interesting 
paradox. Most Eckists will tell you (as did I) that Eckankar is a teach- 
ing of love and that everyone is free to come and go without conse- 
quences. The fostering of this image is a case in point of the use of the 
old device of speaking with a forked tongue. When both sides of an 
issue are presented as the true position of a teaching or a person, one is 
apt to hear only what is most appropriate in a particular situation. This 
message is usually delivered with such strength and conviction that the 
listener is inclined to accept it as "the position" of the teaching or 

We all have a tendency to hear what we want and ignore the rest. 
With all of the warnings scattered throughout Paul's writings, which 
have never been removed by his successors, the message that I heard 
was one of freedom. Finally, I thought, I had found a teaching that was 
not filled with threats of hell and damnation. But I was wrong! How 
did I ever expect to have attained spiritual freedom in the face of such 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 149 

overwhelming negativity? And, after reading these "curses," though in 
concentrated form, I wondered how I could have missed them? 

Here is the answer. Paul could not have been more cynical or 
duplicitous. In the same letter in which he warns us to be on the lookout 
for other teachers who would practice these dark arts, he lulls us into a 
sense of trust: 

Within my love is the framework by which you are free to do as you 
choose. Whatever you choose to do is entirely within yourself, but it 
does not lessen my loyalty of heart to you and your family. If you 
choose to leave ECK for another path, it does not mean that we have 
parted in the way of separateness, but your freedom of choice is your 
self-determination. This is what I am trying to develop in people — 
their self-determination and responsibility by standing on their own 
spiritual feet.^^^^ 

Comforting words indeed but clearly designed to lure the unsuspecting 
seeker into a sense of trust that leads to surrender and ultimate entrap- 
ment. The seeker also learns very quickly that some things are strictly 
taboo. Certain statements or questions are simply too negative. This 
conspiracy of silence has been perpetuated so long that most Eckists 
are afraid to ask questions that might reveal that they are having prob- 
lems with soul travel or some other aspect of the teaching. Not wanting 
to reveal their ignorance or lack of progress (as Eckankar or their mas- 
ters define it), they remain silent. 

Those that hold the rank of High Initiate (HI) are caught in an even 
greater trap. They earned their station by virtue of continuous tenure in 
and service to Eckankar, not by spiritual advancement. They are 
regarded as experts in soul travel and purportedly possess many psy- 
chic and other spiritual powers. Yet, I have been to countless HI meet- 
ings where many had never had an inner spiritual experience, much 
less mastered soul travel. They felt like impostors, pretending to be 
more than they were but accepting their high status. I hasten to point 
out that this is not universally the case. Many in Eckankar — and this 
has nothing to do with initiation level — have had extensive inner spir- 
itual experiences and are quite advanced in their spiritual unfolding. 
Graham is a perfect example of this. It has little to do with Eckankar 
and everything to do with soul, its openness, and level of spiritual 
development in past lives. 


Paul provides one final warning to his chelas in which he warns of 
the negative practices of entrapment used by some masters: 

Another one is: "I'm the true Master, and having initiated you, will be 
with you until the end of eternity. I'm your Master always. "^^^^ 

Having warned us of how other masters make promises that entrap 
their students, Paul and his successors employ the very same devise of 
control when they promise, "I am always with you." This planting of a 
guardian in the chela's consciousness is what Paul has just warned us to 
look out for as a sign of a controlling master. Such pronouncements are 
designed to draw the chela closer and establish a mental and psychic 
link that can trap the chelas for many lifetimes. Having accepted his 
advice, we are less on guard and unsuspecting that such a tactic would 
be employed in Eckankar or by the Living Eck Master. A few examples 
found in the Eckankar writings illustrate this point: 

It makes little difference whether the person who is interested in ECK 
has read only one book, has just become an initiate, or has passed 
through all the initiations. The Living ECK master is with him con- 
stantly.^ ^^ 


The chela is never thrown upon his own while traveling the path, though 
it seems to many that he might be. This is by no means so, for the Living 
ECK Master is always standing at his side, gently guiding him and tak- 
ing him over the obstacles to the Godhead. The path is long and so 
many times the chela becomes impatient, but he must feel that the Mas- 
ter is always guiding every step of his way into the heavenly worlds. ^^^^ 


The rejection of the Mahanta is sad indeed, for it means that the seeker 
must go on looking, reaching and trying to find the heavenly path of 
ECK and the ECK Master who will take him into the kingdom of the 
SUGMAD. But he seeks in vain for there will never be anyone but the 
Mahanta to give him life, to give him the way to the eternal source of 
All things. i«5o 

Such is the magic and power of the master's promise always to be 
with the chela. The seeker often comes to a new spiritual path with a 
feeling of loneliness and a need to connect with something that is ever- 
lasting. So strong is this desire and so seductive is this promise that, 
even when the seeker knows that she is being lured into a potentially 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 151 

pernicious attachment, she is nonetheless drawn as the moth is to a 
flame. For who wants to walk alone in the wilderness when the mas- 
ter's comfort and succor have been promised and are available for the 

When anyone begins a search for spiritual truth, confusion and lack 
of self-confidence may make it difficult to accept her own power. This 
is why teachers, saviors, and masters initially serve a useful role. It 
also, unfortunately, provides the opening through which an unethical 
teacher or religion can trap her. The true role of any teacher is to teach 
and then let go. Paul even acknowledges this as part of a two-sided 
approach that mixed words of empowerment and freedom with words 
of attachment and entrapment. Here are his words of empowerment and 

No ECK master will retain his former relationship with a neophyte after 
the latter has become skilled in Soul Travel and has been established on 
the Fifth Plane, the plane of pure Soul. 

You will find that I seldom use the word student, or chela, for once it is 
accepted by the reader he identifies himself as such. This is one of the 
lower aspects of all metaphysical teachings, for it raises one and puts 
another in an underclass. Since we are all spiritually equal, no ECK 
Master is going to stress the fact that he is on a higher level than 
another.... 1*^1 


Many Oriental teachers will tell you that it takes years to reach Self- 
Realization or God-Realization, and that they, the masters, are the only 
channels by which it can be gained. Nothing can be further from truth; 
and though you learn much from the ECK Masters, you will eventually 
give up all masters in a natural way. This is because the higher Soul 
travels into the spiritual realm, the more It becomes purified. ^'^^ 

Yet, just a few pages later, Paul displays the Eckankar of attachment 
and entrapment: 

Think only of the Living ECK Master and the experiences that come 

while traveling with him. He is the only vehicle through which one can 

reach the higher worlds, so take care and practice this technique cor- 
rectly. ^^^ 



The Spiritual Traveler is not the giver of life. He is, in a sense, the 
greater consciousness through which the power flows into the outer 
world, touching all those with whom he comes in contact. The essence 
of God in ITS true nature is often seen in the Spiritual Traveler ... all 
life flows from God, through me, and vice versa. ... It is a fact, then, 
that God, on occasion, descends to the human level to perform the duty 
of directing Souls back toward ITS realm again. ^^^ 

The student is left to believe whichever version she feels comfortable 
with, for, earlier Paul declared: 

Therefore, we come to the understanding that God is unconcerned about 
what goes on in this world, for the world continues to function as does a 
machine after the switch is thrown to make it run. All God must do is 
watch over the world and its mechanical functioning.!^^ 

Obviously, these passages are contradictory and cannot both be 
true, except in the strange calculus of the Eck Masters where contradic- 
tions are paradoxes to be solved by the God-seeker. Here, by elevating 
the Spiritual Traveler (the Living Eck Master) to the status of God on 
earth, not limited by the restrictions of mere masters, Paul makes it 
easy to resolve the paradox. Paul is indeed masterful in weaving the 
myth of Eckankar around statements of wisdom and transcendent truth. 
He is also adept at inserting a convenient elevation in status to the Liv- 
ing Eck Master to overcome what would otherwise be seen as a blatant 

This is another way Paul traps the unwary. Even as the passages 
and the techniques that they embody are pointed out, there is a part of 
us that continues to hear the siren call of the Eck Master. They lead 
with a startling if not profound truth followed closely and ever so 
stealthily with another fiction intended to build the house of cards ever 
higher and seemingly stronger. 

Paul concludes in his warning to chelas with these words of wis- 

These are a few of the techniques of fear used by most teachers of the 
psychic worlds. We can easily recognize them. The very fact they use 
such methods to hold their students shows they are afraid of losing out 
to a true Master. The real Master never drops any hints of reprisal to 
anyone who shows freedom of will and the capability of thinking for 
himself 1 "5^ 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 153 

Despite these words, it is clear that Paul knowingly placed words of 
fear and "hints of reprisal" throughout the Eckankar works. Because 
Harold has never seen fit to remove them, they continue as a part of the 
teaching under his leadership. 

Spirit does work in mysterious ways to perform its many wonders. 
For a careful review of Paul's works has revealed a clear inconsistency 
between the loving and helping image of the master and the power-ori- 
ented reality aimed at self-protection through the controlling devices of 
fear and attachment. 

Device Eight: Verbal Slight of Hand 

One of Paul's most clever and effective devices to legitimize Eck- 
ankar is a technique that I call "verbal slight of hand." As the descriptor 
implies, there is a certain amount of trickery involved, but it is often 
difficult to detect. Even when it is detected, there is an easy acceptance 
of it as something unintended. It is so common in the works of Eckan- 
kar that it is often unrecognizable. It sounds insidious and deceptive, 
and it is, but it is also brilliant and effective. This device uses standard 
logic where, for example, the letter "A" is used to represent the word 
"Eckankar" and Al through A5 represent different definitions of the 
same word. Paul uses this strategy by employing five different defini- 
tions and subtly establishing an equivalency for each definition. Thus, 
A (Eckankar) = Al = A2 = A3 = A4 = A5. Similarly, Paul employs sev- 
eral different definitions for the word "Eck," an Eckankar word for 
divine spirit. We will use, for purposes of illustration, "B" to represent 
the word Eck, and B 1 through B4 to represent separate definitions of 
the word. Each definition is used in an equivalent way, so that B or 
(Eck) = Bl = B2 = B3 = B4. Paul then equates all "As" with all "Bs." 
We then end up with a "Al = A2 = A3 = A4 = A5 = Bl = B2 = B3 = 
B4" as an inescapable conclusion, thereby making Eckankar concepts 
fluid, interchangeable, and impossible to pin down. 

Here is what this means. Paul formulated four distinct definitions 
for Eckankar (Harold added a fifth), all used interchangeably without 
contextual differentiation. Together, they merge into a single meaning 
in the mind of the reader. Similarly, Paul formulated four different and 
distinct definitions for Eck that also merge into one. Finally, he equates 
Eck and Eckankar so that all definitions become one. He then uses each 


term in different ways at different times to mean different things, with- 
out acknowledging to the reader that verbal slight of hand is taking 
place. To see how Paul uses this device, we must first examine the dif- 
ferent definitions that he uses for Eckankar and Eck. 

Al = Eckankar — (As the mythical ancient spiritual path) 

ECKANKAR: The Ancient Science of Soul Travel. Movement of the 
inner consciousness, which travels through the lower states until it 
ascends into the ecstatic states. ^^^^ 

A2 = Eckankar — (As Divine spirit of itself) 

So far, our definition of ECKANKAR reads: The all-embracing spiritual 
force of the Sugmad which composes life and makes up all elemental 
substances, including the component parts of Soul. It is the Audible Life 
Force that we can hear and see with the spiritual vision and objective 
sight of materialism."!^^ 

A3 = Eckankar — (The outer organization) 

The tax-exempt religious organization created in 1965 by Paul Twitchell 
and modified in the 1980s by Harold Klemp as a Corporation Sole (one 
person with total legal — and spiritual — control and authority). 

A4 = Eckankar — (Omnibus definition) 

Religion of the Light and Sound of God; the Path of TOTAL AWARE- 
NESS; the way of all things; means "CO-WORKER with God;" a teach- 
ing which gives knowledge of both the LIGHT and the SOUND which 
contains the total sum of all teaching emanating from God; the very 
foundation of all systems of science, and the key to success in unfolding 
all spiritual powers; the Ancient Science of SOUL TRAVEL. Projection 
of the inner CONSCIOUSNESS, which travels through the lower states 
until it ascends into the ecstatic states where the subject feels he pos- 
sesses an AWARENESS of the religious experience of BEING; 
achieved through a series of spiritual exercises known only to the fol- 
lowers of this science, i'^^ 

A5 = Eckankar — (Harold's update) 

The name used to identify and distinguish the sacred teachings of the 
SUGMAD as taught by the Living ECK Master, as well as the hierarchi- 
cal organization which is headed by the Living ECK Master. i^° 

This final definition is important because it represents Harold's buy-in 
of Paul's elevation of the Eckankar teaching to the status of the "sacred 
teachings of the SUGMAD [GOD]." Moreover, Harold never removes 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 155 

these variable definitions from Eckankar literature so, by default, he is 
responsible for the continued use of Paul's verbal slight of hand. 

For the multiple definitions of Eck, Paul writes: 

B 1 = Eck — (As a science or teaching) 

[T]he science of God-Realization. It grows out of the experiences of 
Soul Travel into the state of religious awareness, which the subject gains 
at his own volition via the spiritual exercises of ECKANKAR. ^^^ 

B2 = Eck — (As Divine Spirit) 

The Audible Life Current. The essence of God, Holy Spirit. ^^^ 

ECK is thus the thread, so fine as to be invisible yet so strong as to be 
unbreakable, that binds together all beings in all planes, all universes, 
throughout all time and beyond all time into eternity. ^^^ 

B3 = Eck — (As same as Eckankar) 

ECK, which is the short label for Eckankar ... is not a yoga, religion, or 
philosophy, nor a metaphysical or occult system. It is merely a way to 
God-realization via soul travel. ^^^ 

B4 = Eck — (Omnibus definition) 

The AUDIBLE LIFE CURRENT; all that is life; the eternal truth and 
eternal paradox within all; encompasses all the teachings of religions 
and philosophies; stream of LIFE FORCE; the science of TOTAL 
AWARENESS that grows out of the experiences of SOUL TRAVEL; 
the realizafion of GOD CONSCIOUSNESS; the thread that binds 
together all beings in all planes, all universes, throughout all time, and 
beyond all time into ETERNITY; Asu; Life Force, self consciousness; 
the HOLY SPIRIT; the source of all; the CREATOR of all things; the 
great forming force which works in a creative way; the constructive 
forming force; is everywhere; the ESSENCE of the SUGMAD; the 
LIVING WORLD; the science of GOD-REALIZATION. ^^^ 

Most students of Eckankar are aware of the usage of Eck to denote 
spirit and Eckankar to denote the organization. Indeed, in the Eckankar 
introductory booklet given free to newcomers, only one definition is 
given for each word. Eck means, "the Divine, or Holy, Spirit; the Audi- 
ble Life Stream; the essence of God which supports and sustains all 
life; the Life Force. "^^^ And Eckankar means, "Religion of the Light 
and Sound of God. Also means Co-worker with God."i^^ 

These definitions are simple and straightforward. The newcomer 
and those in Eckankar for some time are clear about these distinctions. 


Most students of Eckankar define the term as a spiritual teaching, that 
is, a religion. This is its legal status and public image. Eck, on the other 
hand, is thought of as "spirit," the divine force that sustains all life. 
Eckists, following Paul's lead, also use the term Eck as shorthand for 
Eckankar. However, these multiple uses for Eck are understood by 
Eckists who can draw a clear distinction with each usage. When refer- 
ring to spirit, most Eckists will say, "the Eck." When using Eck as 
shorthand for Eckankar, Eck is paired with another word (e.g., Eck 
chela or Eck Seminar). The term Eckist is almost uniformly understood 
to mean a follower of the teaching of Eckankar. 

When the Eckist confronts Paul's writings, strange things happen. 
It is clear that Paul intends to have both words mean something differ- 
ent at times and to mean the same thing at other times. This allows him 
to make claims like, "The major religions of the world have sprung out 
of ECK. ...,"1^8 even though it is clear that Eckankar made its first 
appearance on this planet in 1965! When considering the usual defini- 
tion of Eckankar as the organization, this claim is clearly unfounded. 
But if we accept Eckankar as "divine spirit of itself (A2) or as the fic- 
tional "ancient science of soul travel" (Al), such a claim is believable. 
Paul never says which definition he is using, and the reader is apt to 
accept the statement at face value, never suspecting any word trickery. 
After all, who would make up something about a subject as important 
as the spiritual history of humankind? If the reader does question the 
assertion, it is easy to answer that the statement does not pertain to the 
present incarnation of Eckankar (founded in 1965), but to the invented 
ancient version of the teaching that has existed for eons as the secret 
teaching of Eckankar. If this were to be challenged, the definition of 
Eckankar as a word for spirit can be evoked to establish authority for 
the statement. 

No one doubts that all religions are derived from divine spirit. That 
is why the multiple definitions help the mind to accept a declaration of 
Eckankar's supremacy as a religion when it is defined as spirit or 
derived from spirit. Once this is established, the role of the Mahanta, 
the Living Eck Master as "God Incarnate" is not far behind. Each con- 
cept reinforces the other. Who would not expect "God incarnate on 
earth," the Living Eck Master, to be at the head of the highest, most 
original, most ancient, spiritual teaching in the universe? 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 157 

As the meanings blur, Paul succeeds, temporarily, in elevating his 
for-profit company, begun as a way for the cliff hanger to support him- 
self and his wife and to impart his syncretic wisdom, into the acme of 
all spiritual teachings. While there are even more variations of these 
definitions, all relate to those given above. Often the word will have 
two or more meanings at the same time, as in "Eck Master." The phrase 
could mean a master of the teaching of Eck (divine spirit), a master in 
the teaching of Eckankar (the current organization), or a master of the 
teaching of Eckankar. Either definition would be correct with Paul's 
slight of hand approach, because each could apply. We do not know 
Paul's true intentions, and that is by his design. To illustrate how these 
different definitions are used in a confusing, multiple, jumbled, but 
ultimately plausible way, I have chosen to focus on a single chapter 
from The Spiritual Notebook.^'^'^ 

A sample paragraph illustrates the point. The probable meaning(s) 
are listed beside each use as Al, A2, etc.: 

Death and resurrection are basic principles taught in almost every reli- 
gion.... But ECKANKAR [Al, A3, A4, and A5], which is the main- 
stream of all religions.... Philosophical writers and religionists have 
proven the existence of ECK [Al, A2, A4, and A5] throughout his- 
tory.... The famous line of prophets in the Israelite tribes were [sic] 
trained in the teachings of ECK [Al, A2, A5].... The Greek Masters ... 
Socrates, Aristotle, and Plato were taught the art of ECKANKAR [Al, 
A2, A5].... Practically every man who has contributed to civilization has 
spiritually been a ... student, of the hidden teachings of ECKANKAR 
[Al, A2, andA5].i8o 

Once the many definitions of Eckankar are accepted, Paul's history and 
the preeminence of Eckankar become plausible. And once any defini- 
tion of Eckankar is accepted as plausible, the mind makes the connec- 
tion of A = B, and the fictional becomes believable. Add to this the fact 
that we are not expecting anyone to employ verbal slight of hand, and it 
is easy to see how the reader is duped. To find an example where both 
Eck and Eckankar are used in multiple ways, we need look no further 
than the introduction to The Spiritual Notebook: 

These spiritually developed Masters . . . have kept themselves well hid- 
den. ... It is their duty to work for individual Souls who take up the path 
of ECKANKAR [Al, A3, A4, A5]. . . . ECKANKAR [Al, A3, A4, A5] 
is the ancient gospel which does not teach there is original sin. . . . Paul 


Twitchell has set out to show that every prominent person in history . . . 
has been a chela of the hidden teachings of ECK [Bl, B2, B3, B4]. He 
speaks with authority on the supreme message of ECK [Bl, B2, B3 and 

This passage and ensuing ones illustrate Paul's use of this technique. 
This slight of hand is indeed confusing. The mind struggles to discern 
what Paul intends. The reader eventually stops trying to resolve the 
definitional conflicts that Paul's inconsistent usage causes. Finally, the 
unwary reader goes with the flow, accepting what Paul says with only a 
nod of surrender replacing doubt. 

In the first fourteen pages of The Spiritual Notebook, Paul uses the 
word Eckankar thirty-six times. He uses Eckankar to mean "spirit" 
forty-seven percent of the time (seventeen times) and to refer to the 
ancient teaching thirty-six percent of the time (thirteen times). While 
Paul uses Eckankar in referring to the present-day organization only 
seventeen percent of the time (six times), the reader likely intermingles 
as many as thirty usages of Eckankar (eighty -three percent) with the 
present-day religion. What does this mean? It means that eighty-six 
percent of the time, Paul is talking about his invented version of Eckan- 
kar, which he uses to establish credibility for the present day teaching, 
which he refers to a paltry six times. But, it is enough to make the con- 
nection and the reader connects them (after all, it is the same word), 
ascribing to the modern-day Eckankar all of the power and spiritual 
verve that the other two fictionalized meanings connote. 

Did Paul practice this slight of hand with malice aforethought 
whenever he employed it? Probably not, for over time he likely become 
blinded to his own devices. Yet, one conclusion is inescapable: he 
intended that the reader believe the history and lineage depicted in this 
and other Eckankar books was true, and that the Eckankar organization 
of today is directly linked to this history and lineage. 

None of the books containing this verbal slight of hand has been 
withdrawn or redacted. Therefore, the current leadership of Eckankar 
bears responsibility for continued deception. Throughout The Spiritual 
Notebook and his other books, Paul intersperses Eckankar dogma with 
passages of genuine insight and spiritual wisdom. But this is the nature 
of any effective deception. It works because it artfully blends truth and 
untruth — an enticing dish for the true believer. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 159 

Device Nine: The Many Faces of Eckankar 

By going on record as supporting both sides of an issue, a writer is 
able to seek shelter on whatever side of the issue is convenient at the 
time. With many faces and multiple expressions of Eckankar princi- 
ples, each individual inevitably constructs her own version of the 
teaching. I am convinced that there are Eckists with entirely different 
views of what it really is. Some of these conflicting views we have 
already considered. As I delved into the substance of the teaching, I 
discovered many faces of Eckankar that I did not know. They certainly 
were not the Eckankar that I had taught audiences over the past twenty- 
five years. 

I did not notice the threats rampant in written works. I naively 
thought that this was the one teaching that did not hold on to its follow- 
ers. I also believed that the chela is always free to leave. When I tried to 
reconcile my understanding of Eckankar with recently noticed parts of 
the teaching, I did find a basis for the version I accepted and taught. 
How do we end up with so many versions of a single teaching? As indi- 
cated, Eckankar masterfully stakes out all sides of the issues; the reader 
sees and accepts what he feels comfortable with and discards the rest. 
This is particularly true of material presented to newcomers. This is the 
benign image of Eckankar that most Eckists continue to hold until they 
confront its controlling side or they are exposed to revelations of 

Let us compare some contradictory passages. Some are from the 
free introductory booklet, Eckankar: Ancient Wisdom for Today,^^^ 
others from other Eckankar writings. Each passage responds to a ques- 
tion a newcomer might ask. The initial quote is commonly presented in 
introductory sessions conducted worldwide. The latter response 
reveals the dark side of the teaching contained in other Eckankar 

Issue 1- How should the Chela view the Mahanta, the Living Eck 

The Benign Face of Eckankar: 

[T]he Living ECK Master is not idolized. He is given respect and love, 
but he is not worshiped. It is the Master's function, not his personality 
that is important. ^ ^^ 


The Entrapping Face of Eckankar: 

Each Living ECK Master has served as the Mahanta, which is God 
made flesh on earth. Therefore, we look to the Mahanta, for he is the 
representative of the SUGMAD [God] in our midst today. ^^^ 

The Sat-Guru [Living ECK Master] is the Son of God. This same 
expression was used to describe Christ during his stay on earth. ^^^ 

We cannot, therefore, consider the ECK Master as an ordinary human 
person, like the rest of us, for upon his shoulders fall the problems of the 
whole world. He is the singular one who is responsible for all things that 
go on within the universes of God. This sounds very strange but it is's 

After reading passages that exah the Living Eck IVIaster to the sta- 
tus of a "Living God," it is easy see how an individual coming from a 
Christian background, for example, would tend to deify him. This is 
especially true when phrases like "the Son of God," are invoked. This 
is not by accident: it is designed to tap into emotional wellsprings that 
are well known and fully anticipated. 

Having started with the soft face of Eckankar the newcomer soon 
becomes absorbed into the teaching and, in time, comes to see the 
"God-like" nature of the Living Eck IVIaster. 

Issue 2- Does the Eck student have the freedom to leave should he 
or she choose? 

The Benign Face of Eckankar: 

The Master always grants total spiritual freedom to his students. They 
are never controlled or manipulated, and they have complete freedom of 
choice in every aspect of life. ^^^ 

ECKANKAR's respect for the sanctity of the individual shows itself in 
how ECKANKAR is taught and honors the rights, privacy, and personal 
space of others. 1^^ 

The Entrapping Face of Eckankar: 

Within the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad is found the quotation, "He who leaves 
the path of ECK, or refuses to follow it, shall dwell in the astral hells 
until the Master takes mercy upon him and brings him upon the path 
again." 189 

Woe be unto him if he does [resign], for it is known among those who 
have reached these lofty heights and witnessed the consequences of the 
few who have. Those few have found that spiritual decay sets in imme- 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 161 

diately, affecting the health, material life and spiritual life, and brings 
death more swiftly. i^° 

This doesn't exactly sound like "total spiritual freedom," or like a 
group whose members "are never controlled or manipulated" and have 
"complete freedom of choice in every aspect of life. "^^^ The double- 
talk could not be more apparent. The newcomer is lulled into a sense of 
total freedom until she asks too many questions, hints at dropping out, 
or otherwise acts in a manner that goes against something the Living 
Eck Master has said, done or written. For in addition to the more severe 
consequences for more serious acts of "betrayal," there are similar con- 
sequences for acts such as writing a book like this. Paul writes and 
Harold sanctions: 

Many simply do not know or understand the nature of the Living ECK 
Master and will take it upon themselves to be snide with him. . . . They 
likewise do not understand the troubles that befall them as a conse- 
quence of their overt and covert attempts to belittle or ridicule the teach- 
ings of the blessed ECK. . . . One does not realize what these small acts 
might be, but on closer scrutiny we find that they are such minor things 
as belittling the Master's words; arguing with him over some point; the 
posing of needless questions; smoking in his presence; being doubtful of 
any promise that he makes, whether it be of what is to come into a per- 
son's life or some point on ECK; turning against him and refusing to act 
in accordance with his desires, which are for the benefit of the chela and 
his spiritual unfoldment; and acting snide with the Master ^^^ 

Incorporating the guidance from this passage into ones conscious- 
ness clearly leads to obedience and likely, blind obedience. And herein 
lies the danger to the God-seeker. Reading this passage more closely, it 
is clear why, in Eckankar, there is little discussion about controversial 
issues that perplex or disturb its members. But, there are countless sto- 
ries of the wonders of spirit at work in the lives of Eckists. These sto- 
ries are quite real and truly inspiring. But they are not unlike those 
heard at revival services in a thousand churches on any given Sunday. 

I am not disparaging stories or testimonials per-se; they have their 
place and are marvelous teaching tools. But stories often crowd out 
serious discussion leaving the listener hungry to learn the principles by 
which these "gifts" materialized. Of course, in Eckankar as in every 
religion, the point of the testimonials is to reinforce the power of a 
Mahanta, Jesus, Buddha, a Master, or some other intervening force that 


is thought to have bestowed the blessing in accordance with the devo- 
tee's obedience and surrender. As we shall see, it is precisely this mis- 
direction that leads the God-seeker astray believing in something other 
than the real source of the power, which lies within them. 

I remember one seminar at which a woman from the audience 
asked Harold what provisions had been made for Eck Masters who 
were no longer the spiritual head of Eckankar — an obvious reference 
to Darwin Gross, the former Living Eck Master recently expelled from 
the teaching. The issue was obviously very sensitive to Harold, who 
had survived several disquieting years of conflict with Darwin. From 
atop his stool on the stage of this gigantic room, Harold raised his voice 
and chastised her for her impertinence. He concluded by suggesting 
that her light was dim, if not out. The rebuke was so unexpected and 
stinging that it devastated the poor woman. A moan and then a hush 
came from the audience. Few questions were asked after this exchange; 
a lasting impression had been made on everyone. This seemingly meek 
and mild-mannered man revealed a side with which one would trifle 
only at great risk. 

I hasten to point out that this is not the typical mood at Eckankar 
events. Indeed, there is a strong sense of love, devotion, and service, 
which is at the heart of Eckankar 's attraction. Yet, this malevolent face 
of Eckankar does exist and lays in wait with threats, injunctions, and 
dire consequences for those who would venture into prohibited areas of 
thought, word, or action. 

Fortunately, I had other experiences that prepared me to deal with 
this side of the teaching. As mentioned, my stay in an African village 
exposed me to the daily impact of black magic, spells, control tactics, 
and juju on the lives of my African friends. This experience equipped 
me to understand and deal with the spells, incantations, threats, and 
curses that Eckankar had in store. And this is true of the threats from 
any church or religion that are used to keep the faithful in line. Whether 
excommunication, hell and damnation, or their equivalents, they are all 
the same. No words or incantations can affect anyone's life unless he 
believes and accepts them. 

As I write these words, having considered the extraordinary pas- 
sages written by "masters" who claimed to be leading me to spiritual 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 163 

freedom, my energies double with the knowledge that I must dissemi- 
nate this book as soon and as widely as possible. I have already met, 
talked to, and read about those who have left Eckankar and other paths, 
voluntarily or involuntarily. Their pain and discomfiture in leaving the 
teaching and beloved friends have left them with a spiritual void that 
many have been unable to fill. There is fear and anguish as they wonder 
if the Eckankar curse will befall them for having the temerity to leave. 

Friends who remain in Eckankar sometimes ostracize those who 
leave. They fear that their continued association would bring wrath 
upon them. As we shall see, the angst of separation has been spewed all 
over the Internet. There are whole web sites devoted to providing sup- 
port and comfort to former Eckists and those from other paths dealing 
with withdrawal^^^ — tj^g direct consequence of tactics designed to 
control, trap, and instill fear. But those who have demonstrated the 
courage to make, or those who will make, the decision to see a spiritual 
path such as Eckankar for what it is are not abandoned. They are never 
without spiritual direction in taking the next step. Spirit is always there, 
guiding, providing for, protecting, and teaching them. Indeed, this book 
is intended as a spiritual source of that instruction and guidance. 

Device Ten: The Land of Contradictions 

Eckankar, as we have seen, originated as a scheme in Paul's head 
around 1965. Consequently, it had no established doctrine, except his 
earlier writings. The positions in these writings changed dramatically 
after Paul decided to transform Eckankar into the world's preeminent 
religion. Together, these older and newer views present very different 
images of Eckankar doctrine. A seeker is likely to embrace one of these 
positions and overlook or ignore others. Some of these have been pre- 
sented already. 

In most of Paul's earlier writings {The Flute of God, Illuminated 
Way Letters, and Letters to Gail), he presents more traditional, albeit 
enlightened, views on a range of topics. In fact, the word "Mahanta" (a 
Twitchellism) is cited in the index to the Flute of God only once (even 
though he refers to the term "Mahanta consciousness" twice). In his 
one reference to Mahanta, it is used as a synonym for spirit, nothing 
more. 1^4 


The Flute of God shows what Paul believed before he decided to 
invent the world's greatest religion. He wrote these books between 
1960 and 1966, before he created the concept of "the Mahanta, The 
Living Eck Master," the manifestation of "God on Earth." How else 
does one explain the virtual absence of any reference to Eckankar and 
the Masters of the Vairagi Order in earlier works? If he knew and was 
being prepared to become "the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master" since 
he was sixteen, why does he act and write as though he is completely 
unaware of this fact? 

There are two positions voiced by Eckankar apologists that help to 
sustain belief in the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master as one who 
"speaks for God on every plane"i^'^ and is the "the trinity discussed in 
the New Testament,"!^'^ "God made flesh on earth,"i^^ and even "the 
Son of God."i^s The first effort to explain the absence of anything in 
his early writings about Eckankar, the Mahanta, or the Vairagi Masters, 
holds that Paul took a pledge of silence from age sixteen. This is when 
he is supposed to have begun his study of Eckankar under the tutelage 
of the Living Eck Master of the time, Sri Sudar Singh of Allahabad, 
India. However, it has now been established that Paul neither went to 
India at sixteen nor studied under Sudar Singh, and that Sudar Singh 
did not even exist. 

Another explanation ventured by Paul's apologists is that he was 
being prepared for his future mission even though he did not specifi- 
cally know about it until 1965. This is when, presumably, like Saul on 
the road to Damascus, he was overcome by an inner reality that demon- 
strated the entirety of Eckankar. Under this version of Eckankar apolo- 
getics, the history of Eckankar was hidden from the world, and from 
Paul himself, until he became the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. 
Paul's task was then to gather its history, lineage of masters, and every- 
thing else necessary to establish Eckankar as the precursor of all earthly 

The late appearance of Eckankar still leaves a problem. There is no 
independent evidence of any of it, except where Paul impressed actual 
personages into his stories. It is no wonder that his writings were so 
inconsistent on so many points. Here are a few examples. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 165 

Paths to God 

In his early writings, Paul presents the view that there are many 
paths to God: 

I am aware that there are many approaches to the SUGMAD, for 
nobody has a monopoly on any path.^^^ 

When anyone lays down the phrase that "My way to God is the only 
way," be careful for he is only trying to postulate us into submitting to 
him. 200 

This statement is so clear that one wonders how Paul could have recon- 
ciled it with later writings. Either Paul thought that he and Eckankar 
should be exempt from this exhortation, or he simply forgot that he had 
made it. But this was not just a fleeting thought, for Paul restated this 
position many times throughout his early writings: 

God never established a definite group for the liberation of man. IT has 
given the power to many for the particular way to ITS kingdom. There 
are certain paths that one must follow, some better than others, because 
the masters of these particular ways have developed resources for their 
chelas in seeking the way. This is because men are on various levels of 
consciousness and not all can follow one universal way.2°^ 

The declaration that there is no single path to God is an honest rec- 
ognition by Paul, in his pre-Eckankar days, of a universally accepted 
truth. When I first read this, it rang true and continued as part of my 
belief structure throughout my years in Eckankar. However, I must 
admit that, in a number of my Eckankar talks over the years, I veered 
from this position in an effort to reconcile it with Eckankar 's doctrine 
of the role of the Mahanta in soul's journey to God-Realization. Many 
others in this teaching started with this view but were similarly per- 
suaded to a more doctrinaire position consistent with Paul's later writ- 
ings and current Eckankar dogma. 

From an effort to sell personal spiritual insights to a small group of 
devotees, Eckankar grew into an organization with an army of follow- 
ers. The decision to move from a simple teaching to a precursor reli- 
gion required that the teaching become more doctrinal and exclusive. 
At this point, a major shift occurred. Paul moved from a more ecumen- 
ical view of the world to one in which Eckankar was its center. His ear- 
lier position, that there were many paths to God, took a dramatic and 


irreversible turn. Having established and positioned his new religion, 
Paul's writings also changed. Now, Eckankar was the only path to God, 
a view that was definitively expressed in the Spiritual Notebook and the 

All these things can be learned through the medium of ECKANKAR, 
the only and universal path to God.2°2 

Again and again I have pointed out that there is no other path than ECK. 

It is the original source from which all things spring, and anyone who 

tries another path is trying to start on a lower rung. It seems so foolish 
for anyone to use his human judgment in trying to select a spiritual path 
for himself, when it is laid out for him to move on to the original and 

only path to God.^°^ 

Paul also writes, rather messianically, "It is not possible to enter into 
the Kingdom of Heaven except through the teachings of ECKAN- 
KAR. "204 This leaves little room for debate. Paul was talking about 
Eckankar the religion and, typically, drew no distinction between the 
fabricated ancient version of Eckankar and the one that exists today. 
Why Paul stated such conflicting views is open to speculation. Did he 
start with one position and gradually move to another as the strength of 
his movement increased? Did he present one position to attract follow- 
ers only to surreptitiously move them into a more doctrinal and exclu- 
sive view of Eckankar? Or was there something else at work, explained 
only by Paul's psychological state? (The latter possibility will be 
explored in a later chapter.) 

In a document prepared with the assent of Harold, the Living Eck 
Master, some attempt was made to clear up Paul's excesses. This state- 
ment clearly evidences that Harold was well aware of what Paul had 
done. Through his attorneys, Harold conceded that: 

The word "Eckankar" . . . was not used to describe any religious doc- 
trines until the mid-1960's when the term was coined, adopted and first 
used by Paul Twitchell, Eckankar's modern day founder.^os 

In spite of these admissions during the litigation between Darwin 
Gross and Harold Klemp (following Darwin's firing from Eckankar), 
Harold has never modified any of the Eckankar writings that contain 
the fictionalized and distorted version of Eckankar's history. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 167 

Need For the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master 

Another issue critical to the God-seeker is the need of a master, 
teacher, savior, or guide in spiritual unfoldment. On one hand, Paul 
speaks to the responsibility of the individual for his own spiritual 
unfolding. On the other, he emphasizes that no one can make substan- 
tial spiritual progress without the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. 
Individual spirituality leads to the development of strength and inde- 
pendence in the journey to God; the other road produces dependency 
on the Mahanta and the master, without whom spiritual unfolding is 
limited. These positions obviously conflict. A seeker remains confused 
or simply accepts the position he likes or one that seems consistent with 
Eckankar doctrine. Chapter 8 has, in part, been devoted to the issue of 
the need for a master. The reader is referred to that chapter for a thor- 
ough treatment of the subject. Further, the subject of the Mahanta and 
the core doctrines of Eckankar are considered in that chapter. 

Responsibility of the Individual for Spiritual Growth 

Here are Paul's views on the independence and responsibility of the 
individual as soul for his own spiritual development, a view expressed 
in his earlier writings: 

The SUGMAD is, and of course, Soul is, since the latter is a part of 
God. When we understand this as Truth, then we learn that all a teacher 
can do is to put our feet upon a path and point the way. No teacher, liv- 
ing or past, can give us the actual understanding of Truth. It is wholly 
dependent upon the individual to make his way to Truth. ^^'^ 

If we get the teachings directly from the Supreme Being, by our own 
individual efforts, through our simplification of personal techniques 
worked out by our own understanding, we enter the true path in our own 

way. 2°^ 

The notion that I am responsible for my own spiritual growth rang 
true to me and formed the basis of my spiritual journey in Eckankar. 
This was the view expounded in Paul's earlier book. The Flute of God, 
which became my bible for most of my time in Eckankar. In many 
respects, I was fortunate in this choice because it focuses on the neces- 
sity for soul to lift itself up and change its own circumstances through 
an understanding of how to work directly with spirit to manifest what- 
ever is desired. I found this book empowering. This message formed 


the basis of most of the talks and workshops I presented in more than 
twenty-five years of active participation in Eckankar. 

As I look back and reread the more controlling and doctrinal parts 
of Eckankar, I recall my struggles to accept them. I rarely talked about 
them, because of the respect that I held for Paul. I regarded these other 
concepts with neutrality, assuming that I would embrace them as my 
own spiritual awareness increased. In any case, the empowering lan- 
guage in The Flute of God defines one group of Eckists that focuses on 
this aspect of the teaching and simply let the other parts go. This is why, 
on reflection, it is now clear that there are many Eckankars, even 
though its followers believe there is only one. Other examples of the 
empowering message of Eckankar include: 

[TJhere is not much to say about any of this except that one must simply 
be himself! That and nothing more. The quicker this is accepted, the bet- 
ter developed spiritually one becomes. The individual grows into spiri- 
tual serenity by becoming more of one's own self ^"^ 


The Supreme Consciousness will appear to anyone provided the indi- 
vidual furnishes the state of consciousness through which it can appear. 
Therefore, whatever anyone is receiving or lacking in the outpicturing 
and expression of his consciousness is each one's own responsibility. It 
is the result of his own consciousness. Until you can understand this, 
you can never have true freedom and liberation from this world. Until 
you can understand that nothing can happen to you, nothing can ever 
come to you or be kept away from you except in accordance with the 
state of your consciousness, you do not have the key to life.^"^ 

This passage has always been my favorite. To this day, it is an 
expression of a reality that I have learned, experienced, and demon- 
strated in my life. Whether Paul wrote this himself or lifted it from 
someone, I keep it with me as one of the greatest gifts from my years in 
Eckankar. Again, Paul makes it clear that the role of a master is strictly 
limited and should not continue beyond the initial period when guid- 
ance is needed: 

Anyone who claims to be a teacher or a master and allows a chela to 
lean upon him is not being honest with himself or with the chela. The 
chela must always walk alone. At first he will depend upon a teacher to 
show him the way, but when he has reached his maturity in the teach- 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 169 

ings he must go on alone, for the teacher can no longer do anything for 
him. 210 

Indeed, how could it be otherwise. However, as we shall see, this con- 
cept underwent a dramatic modification as the role and importance of 
the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master emerged in Eckankar doctrine and 

Dependence on the Master 

As definitive as Paul once was on soul being responsible for its 
own destiny and finding its own way to God, he was later equally 
definitive on the necessity of strict obedience to the Mahanta, the Liv- 
ing Eck Master, throughout soul's journey to God. On this later view, 
he writes, "Only the Living ECK Master can offer the chela a definite 
method by which he can prove all things for himself,"2ii and "No man 
comes to the SUGMAD except through the Mahanta. "212 Also: 

Only the living ECK Master is capable enough to give truth as it is to 
the chela. Unless he is under the Living ECK Master, the chela's gather- 
ing of truth has little value. He is unable to establish any link with the 
Godhead and, more importantly, is unable to find a way to discover truth 
for himself The Master is the link between the chela and the Godhead, 
for he is the Living Word Itself And he does not work only on the lower 
planes and planets, but in every plane throughout the universes of 

And finally: 

The chela must be dedicated to the ECK. Dedication is his greatest 
asset. He must give this dedication to the Mahanta, the Living ECK 
Master because he is the only manifestation of God that can be recog- 
nized by those in the human state of consciousness. If the chela is not 
possessed of this quality of dedication and loyalty to the path of ECK, 
his incarnations are lengthened in this world, and he shall not be able to 
enter into the next worlds at the end of his present life.^i^ 

These are only a few examples of Paul's insistence on the impor- 
tance of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master in the spiritual devel- 
opemnt of the chela. Paul began as a simple student. As a chela of the 
Radhasoami Master, Kirpal Singh, Paul learned first-hand the hypnotic 
power of devotion to and adoration of a master. Paul incorporated this 
device into his new religion with a subtlety and sophistication that 
would make Kirpal Singh envious. In addition to establishing the co- 
dependency relation of master and chela as a central part of his teach- 


ing, Paul went a step further by elevating the Masters of Eckankar to a 
status heretofore unknown. The chela's relationship with the master 
was designed to move from devotion to reverence: 

Each Living ECK Master has served as the Mahanta, which is God 
made flesh on earth. Therefore, we look to the Mahanta, for he is the 
representative of the SUGMAD in our midst today.^^^ 

The Sat-Guru [Living ECK Master] is the Son of God. This same 
expression was used to describe Christ during his stay on earth. ^^^ 

[A]ll the power of God must reach these worlds through the perfect 
instrument of the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. There is no other 
way, for he is the distributor of the power.^^^ 

Hence, the Living ECK Master is omniscient, omnipotent, and omni- 
present. Each who has served his respective time in the worlds of God, 
including the physical plane, is known as the Mahanta, the Vi-Guru, the 
highest of all spiritual Masters throughout the universes of the SUG- 
MAD. None are higher than the Mahanta for he alone possesses the 
shining consciousness of the SUGMAD. ^^^ 

It is hard to imagine how the average person, confronting such pas- 
sages and coming out of a religious tradition of God worship, would 
react in any manner other than to worship the one who is "God made 
flesh." If one does not worship "God made Flesh," the "Son of God," 
and the "distributor of the power of God," whom should one worship? 
In spite of the obvious effect such passages have on the devoted follow- 
ers of the Living Eck Master, Eckankar maintains that "the Living ECK 
Master is not idolized. He is given respect and love, but he is not wor- 
shipped. It is the Master's function, not his personality that is impor- 
tant. "^^^ Harold has taken this disclaimer even further in a series of 
fascinating passages: 

Paradoxical as it may seem, my point in bringing out all of this has been 
to strengthen your faith in the Mahanta — but not at the expense of 
making a god out of the Mahanta's vehicle, which is the Living ECK 
Master. It's a price we cannot afford to pay. As soon as we set someone 
above us, in potential or in fact, we have committed a crime against our- 
selves: We have limited the opportunity for our own unfoldment.^^^ 

And even more startling: 

And so we have, perhaps, the death of an ideal. This means that no 
longer can we make a god out of a man. It was never intended. Many of 
us haven't done this, but some of us have.^^^ 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity : The Ten Devices 171 

The death of an ideal? By saying that such adoration and worship 
was never intended, the Living Eck Master disputes Paul's earlier pro- 
nouncements. But what is Harold really saying? Is he declaring that 
Paul's description of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master as "God 
made Flesh" is false and should never have been described this way? Is 
he saying that it was true but is now untrue in the wake of the "Death of 
an Ideal?" Is the Living Eck Master no longer "omniscient, omnipotent 
and omnipresent"? And what of the Living Eck Master's status as the 
"Son of God?" Is this suddenly invalid? 

Harold's declaration raises as many questions as it answers. It is 
hard to read his statements as anything short of a rejection of Paul's 
assertion of the divinity of the Living Eck Master. One can detect an 
attempt to draw yet another distinction that would preserve much of 
what Paul proclaimed while killing a more publicly troubling aspect of 
Eckankar doctrine. Harold separates the Mahanta from the "Mahanta's 
vehicle," implying that it is acceptable to continue to view the Mahanta 
as "God Made Flesh," but not the Mahanta's vehicle, which presum- 
ably means his physical body. As if this distinction were not murky 
enough, Harold draws an even finer distinction in his attempt to "clar- 
ify" that the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master should not be wor- 

An individual working toward God-Realization is careful never to make 
the personality of the Living ECK Master into an idol or a god. I write, 
give talks, and do the best I can to tell you ways to have contact with the 
Light and Sound of God. I only do it to try to inspire you to do the work 
yourself 222 

When all of this is taken together, what has Harold actually said 
about the "Death of an Ideal?" First, he tells us not to worship the Mah- 
anta's vehicle, which is the Living Eck Master. Yet it is presumably 
allowable to worship the Mahanta. So by separating the two, we are not 
told to cease worshiping altogether, but only to cease worship of the 
Living Eck Master. Then Harold separates the Living Eck Master into 
three parts: the personality, the function, and the physical body. We are 
told not to worship the personality of the Living Eck Master, while 
leaving the inference that it is permissible to worship whatever is left. 
So we have five concepts floating about here: the Mahanta, the Living 
Eck Master, the body of the Living Eck Master, the function of the Liv- 


ing Eck Master, and finally, the personality of the Living Eck Master. 
Of these five, Harold has only killed off the ideal of worshipping the 
last one, the personality of the Living Eck Master — a brilliant way to 
have his cake and eat it too. 

Apart from the confusion that these hair-splitting distinctions cre- 
ate in the mind of the true believer, I was ready to acknowledge 
Harold's integrity for at least attempting to step back from some of 
Paul's excessive and often embarrassing pronouncements. However, 
two factors made me hesitate. First, even though these statements were 
made in 1984,^23 and further expanded in 1986, no effort has been 
made to remove, modify, or explain any of Paul's more grandiose 
expressions of the spiritual status of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Mas- 
ter. The "Death of an Ideal" should involve more than a one-time state- 
ment; it should include the removal of anything that fostered 
deification of the Living Eck Master. This has never been done. And so 
the books still sell, and students still read about the "God" status of the 
Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, which remains a central part of Eck- 
ankar doctrine. 

Second, having reduced the Mahanta's status from being "God," 
Harold seems to have changed his mind several years later: 

I'd like to expand the concept of the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, 
so that you can better understand how it works on the inner planes. 

I often speak of the Mahanta as the Inner Master, and we might think 
that the Living ECK Master only exists on the physical plane, while the 
Mahanta works exclusively in the inner worlds. Actually they are one 
and the same. The Mahanta, the Living Eck Master is the full comple- 
ment of inner and outer, and he exists in this full complement on each 
plane. ^2^* 

Having retreated from Paul's more excessive positions, Harold 
entwines the two concepts again with all the old platitudes. Inasmuch 
as Harold has nicely resurrected an idea whose death he had pro- 
claimed just two years earlier, it appears that Christianity is not the only 
present-day religion to have a resurrection in its history. 

Twitchellian Techniques of Spiritual Creativity: The Ten Devices 173 

As recently as June 2002, Harold reinforced the previous deified 
position of the Mahanta. In a recent Eckankar publication, he writes: 

Keep tme to the faith. . . . There is but one way. Base your Vahana (mis- 
sionary) words and messages on the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. The Shariyat 
is our holy book. It is a guide for all who desire to be true to the eternal 
teachings of ECK.225 

The eternal teachings to which Harold refers include every reference 
that he had earlier proclaimed as the "Death of an Ideal." These 

The Living ECK Master is always higher on the spiritual scale of God 
than any saints of the worldly religions . . . each in his time was the 
direct manifestation of God; the divine channel which God uses as ITS 
voice to speak to the worlds with ITSELF. 

Hence, the Living ECK Master is omniscient, omnipotent, and omni- 
present. Each ... is known as the Mahanta . . . the highest of all spiritual 
Masters throughout the universes of the SUGMAD.^^s 

Harold proclaims loudly about the "Death of an Ideal" while qui- 
etly letting the Shariyat proclaim his status as "the direct manifestation 
of God." Not once has Harold pointed to a passage in the Shariyat for 
reinterpretation. It is clear that he intends for the reader to take the pas- 
sages in this book the way any follower would regard a "holy book" — 
as the truth, the word of God. The chela is encouraged to "keep true to 
the faith," which means to base his words on the Shariyat. 

Harold was not always so sanguine about the Shariyat. During the 
period when he was retreating from Paul's "God made Flesh" interpre- 
tation of the Mahanta, Harold also retreated from the sacrosanct status 
of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad: 

Paul encouraged people to read the Sfiariyat-Ki-Sugmad and make their 
own study. He never said to take the words as holy, as the last word. You 
take the words and check out the teachings from within: Does this work 
for me or doesn't it? You have to know. And based upon what you know 
is how you conduct your life out here.^^^ 

This statement was reiterated in 1984 when Harold was apparently still 
going through a "tme confessions" period in which he seemed to have a 
genuine desire to reform some of Paul's positions. Clearly, Harold 
struggled to find a way to be truthful without destroying the teaching. 
He finally decided to retreat gracefully from some of Paul's stances. 


demystify them, and, in the process, hopefully move away from Paul's 
self-serving history, doctrine, and dogma. Unfortunately, in his efforts 
to downplay the Shariyat-Ki Sugmad, Harold misspoke and directly 
contradicted Paul's position. Paul had specifically declared this bible to 
be exactly what Harold was now claiming it was not: 

The essence of God-knowledge is laid down in these writings. Those 
who follow ECK are involved in the SHARIYAT-KI- SUGMAD for it is 
their bible, their everlasting gospel. All worldly doctrines on religions, 
philosophies, and sacred writings are offspring of the SHARIYAT-KI- 

The ancient books of the SHARIYAT-KI- SUGMAD are indeed the true 
Light and the Word of God. . . . One will find within these pages an 
answer to every question man has ever devised to ask of any greater 
ones. All that which is truth is here now, within these pages. ^^^ 

In light of these descriptions of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, it would 
seem difficult for Harold to sustain his position that Paul "never said to 
take the words as holy, as the last word." Paul expressly intended that 
the words contained in these books be regarded as "holy." How else 
does one treat "the Word of God?" 

Harold's statements on the subjects of the Mahanta, the Living Eck 
Master and the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad have moved full-circle several 
times. After some commendable forays toward honesty, Harold has 
retreated to a position that once again embraces Paul's grandiose view 
of the Living Eck Master and the Shariyat. He has now become the 
totality of what Paul created through fiction and deception. This is Paul 
Twitchell's legacy just as it has now become Harold's. 

Chapter 8 — The Origins of Eckankar 

Usurpation: To take possession of without legal claim; To seize and hold 
(as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right; to 
take or make use of without right (e.g. the rights to her life story) 2. To 
take the place of by or as if by force; to seize or exercise authority or 
possession wrongfully. . . . ^ 

Usurpation may seem like a strange word to use in relation to the 
teachings of Eckankar, but this is precisely what happened. What was 
usurped? The answer is more astonishing than you might imagine. For 
what was usurped was nothing short of the spiritual center, the inner 
direction of the believer. How can this be? Let's start with the founda- 
tion of the doctrine of Eckankar: the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. 

The Mahanta, the Living Eck Master 

After seeing how Paul constructed Eckankar, it should come as no 
surprise that he also created the concept of the Mahanta from the tradi- 
tions of other spiritual paths. Nor should it come as any surprise that his 
rich imagination added a few flourishes. The concept of Mahanta 
appeared for the first time in 1965, when Paul gave himself the Rod of 
Eck Power and anointed himself a Mahanta. He took the word, "Mah- 
anta," from a Hindi and Pali word that means "head of a monastic 
establishment" as well as "big" (Pali).^ Paul expropriated the title and 
gave it an entirely new meaning. In Eckankar, Mahanta (Conscious- 
ness) is: 

The spiritual leader, or Godman; the head of ECK; all those who come 
to him in the present age have been with him since their advent into the 
world; the body of the Mahanta is the ECK, which is the essence of God 
flowing out from the Ocean of Love and Mercy, sustaining all life and 
tying together all life forms; the Vi-Guru, the Light Giver; a state of God 


consciousness which is beyond the titles given in religions which desig- 
nate states of consciousness; the highest of all states of consciousness. ^ 

One of the more intriguing aspects of the title of Mahanta, the Liv- 
ing Eck Master is how Paul Twitchell, Darwin Gross and Harold 
Klemp convinced or deluded themselves into believing the myth. 
Given the spurious origins of Eckankar and the Mahanta concept, it is 
clear that this is what happened. Darwin had been indoctrinated into 
Paul's mythology and knew Paul personally. Therefore, it is under- 
standable how Darwin would accept Paul's stories in their entirety. 
After all, at the time of his ascension to the Mahantaship, Darwin was 
probably unaware that the concept and title first appeared in Paul's 
writings around 1965. Darwin's ascension was accompanied by his 
close association with and eventual marriage to the founder's wife, 
Gail Twitchell. This relationship undoubtedly reinforced his deep 
devotion to Paul and his teachings. 

Darwin's comments and later ones by Harold indicated that neither 
of them had any outer confirmation or validation of his station as the 
Mahanta and the extraordinary role the Shariyat said they were to play 
in the operation of the universe. To be told, "He [The Mahanta] speaks 
for God on every plane through all the universes, from the lowest nega- 
tive to the highest spiritual one,"^ is a bit much for a new, inexperi- 
enced master (in Eckankar for only two years) to absorb. And to 
recognize that everyone is thinking of you as the only one who "has the 
key to the secret kingdoms,"^ when you are still discovering for your- 
self the nature of the secret kingdoms, can be overwhelming. The only 
way that these burdens can be reconciled with the limited awareness of 
someone catapulted to such an exalted position is to assume that spirit 
(the Eck) is doing the work. The three Eck Masters have acknowledged 
that they have little if any conscious awareness of how these extraordi- 
nary responsibilities are being carried out in the inner or outer physical 
planes. This belief in the Eck as the modus operandi of the Mahanta, 
the Living Eck Master is reinforced by the simple fact that the Shariyat 
and Paul proclaims it. 

The strength of the Mahanta's claim of omnipotence, omniscience, 
and omnipresence is backed by no more proof than the declaration that 
the sun rises every morning because we have willed it. Every morning 
we would receive confirmation of our power. In time, we might come 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 177 

to believe it. If we were then to give ourselves a title befitting our 
newly proclaimed power, we would only have to attract a following — 
true believers are always available — to have a movement. Thus, the 
position of the Mahanta is not only a station created by Paul, it is one 
that grandiosely claims to control events over which it has no more 
control than anyone else. When we add the essential ingredient of thou- 
sands of Eckists who believe in the Mahanta's powers, we have a spiri- 
tual movement that is based on a fabrication, and a deceptive one at 

After David Lane's book was published, Darwin reacted with out- 
rage and disbelief; he simply could not understand why anyone would 
question the word of Paul Twitchell. Darwin's reaction was not based 
on an analysis of Lane's arguments, but was emotional in nature. He 
urged the chelas to destroy these vile materials (the "spiritual counter- 
feiter" version of Lane's work), claiming that they were written by peo- 
ple who had another agenda or did not know the truth about Eckankar. 
Harold's response was more enlightened but still protective of Paul's 
legacy and his own position upon which it rested. Harold's defense was 
perhaps more honest than prudence might have dictated. Revealing 
details of the records Paul assiduously kept, Harold offered a brief look 
into Paul's life that revealed disturbing psychological patterns that led 
to exaggeration, tall tales, grandiosity, and worse — especially when it 
came to the position of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. 

The legitimacy of the Mahanta rests mainly on the story of the 
passing of the Rod of Eck Power down the long line of the Vairagi Mas- 
ters, from antiquity to Harold Klemp. It should first be noted that Paul 
likely "borrowed" the concept of the Rod of Power from theosophy — 
although there also can be found Egyptian and Christian references to a 
Rod of Power — which asserts that the great "Rod of Power" of the 
Logos (God, or Sugmad) is hidden in the sun and consists of four sub- 
divisions (functions) for which a Rod of Power exists for each. 

However, the Rod of Power aside, a better understanding of the 
legitimacy of the Mahanta can be gleaned from looking at the less than 
orderly transition of power between the various Mahantas. According 
to Eckankar lore, Sudar Singh received the Rod of Eck Power from 
Rebazar Tarzs. It was Sudar Singh's responsibility to train a successor 


and pass the Rod of Eck Power to him. But having purportedly started 
with Paul as a mere sixteen-year-old, who was not ready for the posi- 
tion at the time of his death in the late thirties, Singh seems to have 
failed in this task. Another twenty-five years would pass before a can- 
didate would be ready to assume the responsibilities of the Mahanta. 
Yet, the Eck works state that: 

[The Living Eck Master] is not allowed to retire from his field of action 
in this life until another is ready and trained to replace him...'^ 

But the Rod of Eck Power could not be passed forward to a preco- 
cious but unprepared boy. Never lacking for inventiveness, Paul had 
the Rod of Eck Power pass backward to the prior master, Rebazar 
Tarzs, who dutifully passed it on to him when he had supposedly 
reached the proper level of consciousness. This is the first but not the 
last time that the Rod of Power was tossed back to a predecessor. 

Following in the footsteps of his first teacher, Paul departed this 
world without carrying out his responsibilities of preparing and passing 
on the Rod of Eck Power to his successor, as described above and as set 
forth in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad.'' Paul's untimely death necessitated 
another reprise of the stalwart Rebazar Tarzs to save the day. Ever 
equal to the task, he assumed the title and quickly handed off to Dar- 
win, a relative newcomer to Eckankar. As the story proceeds to the 
transfer of the Rod of Power from Darwin Gross to Harold Klemp, it 
becomes, as we shall later see, increasingly farcical. When all the fic- 
tion is removed from descriptions of the sacred nature of the Mahanta- 
ship, what remains are self-motivated individuals who hide the 
position's lineage. 

Neither Paul's nor any of his successor's origins have much in 
common with the mystical births and lives of his band of Vairagi Mas- 
ters. Paul writes: 

The Mahanta is always bom near or on a large body of water. His birth 
is always mysterious and men of ordinary birth do not know his origin. 
Nor does any man know who his sires might be, their true names or their 
true origin.^ 

Paul accounted for the mysterious origins of some of the 760 previous 
Eck Masters in his writings and set out to spin tales about his own. He 
told Brad Steiger, the author of his biography, that he was born out of 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 179 

wedlock on a riverboat that plied the waters of the Mississippi. Paul 
claimed that his stepmother was a "proud, stern, half-Chickasaw Indian 
beauty." In saying this, he disavowed his own mother and went on to 
hint that his father might not have been his real one. Paul claimed that 
his grandmother told him these things when he was only a teenager: 

. . . Grands believed that her high-stepping son had fathered the boy, 
who had been born out of wedlock. . . . Her son had to admit that it was 
entirely within the realm of possibility that he could, indeed, be the lad's 
father, so he acquiesced to the demands of his wealthy mother.^ 

When Paul's family learned what he had been saying about his 
family and parentage, there was understandable consternation in the 
Twitchell clan, which was quick to point out the lies in his tale.^o Paul 
was not born near a body of water (as in countless heroic myths), nor 
was his parentage ever in question, except in his own mind, as he 
sought to live up to the myth he created for the birth of the Eck Masters. 
Neither Darwin nor Harold fared any better in this regard. They were 
born quite some distance from any substantial body of water, and were 
both of known parentage. 

Paul laid out even more stringent requirements for the birth of the 
Mahanta, the Living Eck Master: 

The ECK enters into the womb of a virgin, the queen of heaven, who 
has submitted to the true spirit of the universe. The consciousness of the 
Mahanta state is planted as the seed, and carefully nurtured in the 
womb. When the embodiment of flesh is brought into this world, a man- 
child is born. It starts its unfoldment over a period of years until the state 
of perfection is reached, in adulthood. Then the chosen one learns that 
he is the Living ECK Master of his times." 

While this is a fine story that plays well with those steeped in the tradi- 
tion of a better-known virgin birth, it has some immediate problems. 
Paul already attempted to establish, through Steiger, that his mother 
was of dubious morality, which conveniently suggested unknown par- 
entage. Unfortunately, Paul did his job too well when he led Steiger to 
write, "it was entirely within the realm of possibility that he could, 
indeed, be the lad's father. . . ."^^ Paul then had to make a virgin-mother 
out of this individual with whom the father acknowledges a sexual liai- 
son. It would probably surprise Mr. and Mrs. Gross as well as Mr. and 


Mrs. Klemp that the births of their sons had been elevated to the status 
of virgin births, and that each of their offspring was "the son of God." 

A curious episode in Paul's early experiences as the Mahanta, the 
Living Eck Master sheds light on his thinking during this formative 
period. Having received the Rod of Eck Power in 1965, Paul continued 
to write for various magazines, even though he was functioning as 
"God made Flesh," "the Son of God," and many other exalted titles he 
bestowed upon himself. Yet, Paul participated in and wrote a truly 
bizarre column in the Candid Press. Paul indulges in prophecy and rib- 
ald satire as he unwittingly reveals much about Eckankar's early days 
and his own understanding of the "sacred" nature of his new position of 

Dear Guru: Things are so bad for this country that I must ask you to talk 
to God about the political future. I am asking as a loyal reader oi Candid 


Dear Jan: I didn't want to make any predictions on certain events, but 
you caught me on a technical point.... The war in Vietnam will increase 
until late in 1968 when the doves of both sides come to the negotiating 
table. In 1968, Johnson and Humphrey will run against Romney and 
Percy--and win again! I HAVE SPOKEN! 

Paul Twitchell 

Paul missed it on several points, in spite the inside knowledge his posi- 
tion should have afforded him. Johnson decided not to run for reelec- 
tion in 1968, and the war of course dragged on into the Nixon 
Administration. Given the nature of free will, perhaps even "God Made 
Flesh" should be given some latitude in his predictions. 

In the same Candid Press Column, Paul engages in a disturbing 
form of communications, which pokes fun at spirituality, mastership, 
and even God: 

DEAR MR. TWITCHELL: My penis is too long. Can you ask god to 
shorten it for me? 


The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 181 

DEAR PETER: Why? That's what god said when He heard you wanted 
a smaller sex organ. God says that we can all be happy with what He 
gives unto us and you shall be happy to. I HAVE SPOKEN! 

Paul Twitchell 

DEAR GURU: I have the strange desire to wear lace panties. As I am a 
normal man in every other way, I want to know if god thinks this is bad? 


DEAR FRILLY: He doesn't think it is good. We talked over your fetish 
— for that is what you have. We both feel that your fetish is due to lack 
of female companionship. You wish to secure a relationship with a 
woman whose initials are P. I. Do not ask how I know nor shall you 
question this advice which I now sayeth unto you: call her and ask her 
for a date. She will accept. Do not wear your panties on the date... and 
you shall never again have a desire to wear panties. I HAVE SPOKEN! 

Paul Twitchell 

DEAR LEARNED ONE: My penis is too small for a man of my age. 
Can you talk to God and make my penis grow? 


DEAR TINY: God and I talked about your penis — and God has good 
news for you. He says that your penis is of average size and that you 
only believe it is too small for you failed to satisfy one woman when 
you were 19. Because it is of the proper size, there is no need for God to 
make it grow. I HAVE SPOKEN! 

Paul Twitchell" 

As a column by the man Paul Twitchell, we can see the humor and 
satire here. But when we recognize that this is the Mahanta, the Living 
Eck Master speaking, we wonder. What is going on? Given his mission 
of gathering up all souls and leading them to God, why would the Mah- 
anta indulge in such sexual banter? Make of it what you will, but it does 
raise somber questions about the seriousness with which he regarded 
his newly created position of Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. After his 
movement grew and he began publishing his works through Illumi- 
nated Way Publishing, he never again engaged in such frivolity. Once 
others started believing, he started believing himself, and the fiction 
grew until a witty California columnist had become the Mahanta, the 
Living Eck Master. 


Paul's integration of fiction with higher truth kept the critical fac- 
ulties of most students busy deciding what to accept, what to reject, and 
what to hold in reserve for later consideration. This is where the higher 
self, that part of us that guides our decisions, comes into play. We rely 
upon it constantly, though sometimes unknowingly, for right discrimi- 
nation. It is this part of ourselves that Eckankar attempts to replace with 
the concept of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. It is no different 
from looking to any other savior, teacher, master, or savant. Their role 
should be to empower the individual by helping him discover the spiri- 
tual power that is at his command as soul. When the role shifts and 
devotion, surrender and dedication are encouraged or demanded, then 
their role becomes one of usurpers of the inner direction and control 
that only comes from within. Ironically, this is precisely what Paul him- 
self once articulated: 

If we get the teachings directly from the Supreme Being, by our own 
individual efforts, through our simplification of personal techniques 
worked out by our own understanding, we enter the true path in our own 

way. 14 

And as noted in a previous section: 

The Supreme Consciousness will appear to anyone provided the indi- 
vidual furnishes the state of consciousness through which it can appear. 
Therefore, whatever anyone is receiving or lacking in the outpicturing 
[sic] and expression of his consciousness is each one's own responsibil- 
ity. ^^ 

When we allow an outside agent or ideal to substitute for our own 
inner direction, a fundamental shift occurs. Our attention shifts to a 
dependency upon a person or concept who acts as a surrogate for the 
real force at work in our lives. Every inner experience, dream, and 
inner perception is constructed or selected and directed by soul, not the 
Mahanta, the Living Eck Master or any other pretender. After all, were 
we not having dreams before we heard about Eckankar, Paul Twitchell, 
or any of his successor masters? Initially, guidance and mentoring are 
needed by anyone seeking to move to a higher level of awareness; it is 
the way we begin to learn and progress in all aspects of our growth and 
development. However, when we reach the point where everything that 
we say, think, and do is done in tribute to or in the name of a master of 
some sort, we have crossed the line and denied the divine guidance and 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 183 

direction of our own inner selves. It is replaced by a usurper, who 
would place himself above the spark of God (soul) that is the essence of 
each individual. 

The Blue Light 

Eckists believe that whenever they close their eyes and see a blue 
light, from within or from without, it represents the appearance of the 
Mahanta, the Living Eck Master and is a sign that the master is close at 
hand, as he has promised. 

The truth is that the blue light is a phenomenon experienced by all 
humans. Paul chose this natural phenomenon to enhance and reinforce 
the thrall of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. To the degree that the 
word Mahanta is used as a synonym for spirit, then Paul's assertion is 
accurate. But the slight of hand that Paul employed to create the union 
between the Living Eck Master, the Mahanta, Eckankar, Eck, and spirit 
always stands ready to complete the magical transformation of virtu- 
ally any concept, including the blue light, into the Mahanta, the Living 
Eck Master. Paul successfully usurped this natural phenomenon to 
establish and reinforce his promise, "I am always with you." 

It has long been a part of occult thought that color is a distinct part 
of the life of every individual. Color itself is a manifestation of sound, 
which changes depending upon the plane (level of vibration) on which 
one is functioning. Color can be simulated or evoked by the use of 
imagination and is the principal technique used in psychic healing 
through color. It is also observable during periods of rest and calm, love 
and well-being. Esoteric literature contains many references to a blue 
light body, which is thought to be part of the etheric blueprint of each 
person. i« 

Paul was not the only one to take on the blue light as his symbol. 
Within the Tibetan Buddhist Karma Kangyu Lineage, the Karmapa 
Meditation also employs the blue light: 

From the heart level in the centre of Karmapa's [leader of the Black Hat 
(Kangyu) order of Tibetan Buddhism] transparent body, an intense blue 
light shines out. It fills the middle of our chest. Everything harmful now 
leaves our mind. Disturbing feelings and stiff ideas dissolve and our 
mind becomes spontaneous joy. It is space and bliss inseparable. 
Together with the deep blue light vibrates the syllable HIMG.^^ 


In any case, the inner blue light has been with us since the dawn of 
humankind and long before Paul usurped it as the inner symbol for the 

The Dream Master 

In addition to all the other claims made for the Mahanta, Eckankar 
claims that Harold Klemp, the Mahanta the Living Eck Master is the 
Dream Master; that is, he controls our dreams and our movement into 
the various levels of the inner worlds. Paul writes: 

The only way that sleep and dreams are handled is through the direction 
and guidance of the Living ECK Master. No ECK chela is given freedom 
in the sleep state, for he must be led by the Living ECK Master through 
the levels of dreams until reaching the higher worlds. ^^ 

Lhis too is one of Paul's fabrications. It is another usurpation of our 
inner spiritual self (soul). In a somewhat contradictory but more truth- 
ful statement of soul's role and responsibility in its own inner dream 
life, Paul writes: 

The Atma [soul], living in the dream consciousness of the psychic 
states, enjoys the subtle things of life, as thought, emotional joy, intel- 
lect, and mind stuff All this is essential for the bodies of the psychic 
worlds, the Astral, Causal, and Mental planes. When Soul takes mastery 
over these states through dreaming. It becomes the supreme ruler of Its 
own universe. 1^ 

Lhe Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, in the physical form of 
Harold Klemp, has admitted (several times) that he is not aware of 
what happens in the inner lives of all those who look to him or even in 
their inner experiences where his form is present with them. Yet, 
Harold, as Mahanta, still claims credit for the inner lives of Eckists. He 
often speaks of his role as the inner master, using the pronoun "I" to 
reinforce the image that the person standing before the chela is the 
Mahanta, the Dream Master, as did his predecessors, Paul Lwitchell 
and Darwin Gross. Lhis doubletalk allows the Living Eck Master to 
claim that he is a man, while providing enough fodder to perpetuate the 
myth of the God-like nature of the Mahanta. 

We have already seen how Harold has disavowed the inner experi- 
ences of one of his chelas with no apparent recall or awareness that 
they ever happened. As we learn more about the truth, we see that this 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 185 

is to be expected, for neither Harold nor other masters who perpetuate 
this myth have any consistent recall of these experiences, if they have 
any at all. 

In a later chapter, we will explore the remarkable life of Baba Faqir 
Chand. Chand is one of the few spiritual masters who admits that he is 
unaware of what goes on in the inner space of his chelas. Although he 
receives letters claiming that he has performed countless miracles in 
the inner, and with his physical form in the outer, Chand unselfishly 
attributes these occurrences to the power of spirit working with soul. 
Harold has also intimated this position at times, but at other times has 
reinforced the illusion that he is consciously aware of what is happen- 
ing. Chand's honesty and candid presentation of the true role of a spiri- 
tual master sheds light on the pretensions of the Living Eck Master and 
all such masters. Further, it reveals that claims of being the Dream 
Master are simply another attempt at usurpation. It also shows that soul 
working through spirit is the true instrument, which creates the dream 
images we experience. This mechanism communicates to the lower 
self (our physical identity) the insights and wisdom necessary to 
expand awareness. No intermediary or outside force is needed to direct 
the inner life of the individual. It is spirit in tandem with soul that cre- 
ates our dreams and directs our inner lives. 

When an individual has spent years looking admiringly at the pic- 
ture of a master, it is easy to understand why this image is used as an 
inner vehicle for experiences and communication. But this has nothing 
to do with the master per se. It is acceptance of a trusted image that 
becomes an effective vehicle for soul to explore higher awareness. Any 
such image will work. The master has only allowed his image to be 
used in this way. However, the effectiveness of this image is enhanced 
or diminished, depending on how the chela relates to the personality of 
the master. 

Harold asserts that the chela's relationship to the image and person- 
ality of the master is a crucial factor in determining his effectiveness 
with the chela. Yet many chelas have reported a sharp drop-off in inner 
experiences between the time of Darwin, who was charismatic and 
accessible to followers, and Harold, who has been described as some- 
what insipid and inaccessible. 


I have come to understand the phenomenon of appearing in the 
inner worlds of an individual. I receive, from Eckists around the world, 
numerous accounts of encounters they have had with me functioning in 
the role of a teacher. I am certain that I am not responsible for this. 
Rather, spirit has used my image, because that soul has accepted it as a 
trusted channel for communications. 

There are not many people in our lives, perhaps our parents if we 
are fortunate, to whom we look with a high degree of respect, love, and 
admiration. We use their forms as inner channels to communicate spiri- 
tual truth and to lead us to the realization of God. Viewing a picture or 
visualizing an image of someone who can serve this purpose estab- 
lishes the inner image of this person as a guide. Those who work as 
spiritual teachers or masters understand this principle. If they are hon- 
est, they withdraw from this role as soon as they can, leaving the seeker 
to her inner direction to visualize whatever form she may choose. 
When masters are exploitative, they try to develop dependence on 
themselves and their images to take credit for the individual's inner 
experiences, which are actually spirit working with soul. 

Eckankar Initiations 

An initiation is an outer ceremony, much like a baptism or confir- 
mation in the Christian Church, where the individual makes a spiritual 
commitment and forms a bond with spirit and the Master at progres- 
sively higher levels. In the Sant Mat tradition, from which Eckankar 
was derived, it designates a union with the eternal light and sound of 
God, and the acceptance of a particular master as spiritual guide on this 
leg of the spiritual journey. There is a great deal of mythology sur- 
rounding this ceremony. Its true essence is the inner commitment that 
the individual makes by accepting the form of a master as a part of his 
inner reality. The acceptance of this form and its appearance within the 
inner space of the individual, as we have seen, provides an important 
channel for the spiritual instruction that the individual will receive dur- 
ing his time with that master. 

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad (Book Two) describes the growth of con- 
sciousness and the changes in behavioral responses that an individual is 
likely to demonstrate as he moves from initiation to initiation. ^o These 
descriptions are harbingers of the spiritual progress that a person can 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 187 

presumably achieve, if they follow Eckankar tenets. In this way, they 
represent goals to which the individual can strive. 

Initiations in Eckankar have created as much guilt and tension as 
they have exaltation and joy. When an Eckist receives a "pink slip,"^! 
an invitation to receive a higher initiation, he is at first elated. Later, 
however, he may perceive a disconnect between the lofty standards he 
is expected to meet and demonstrate in his life and where he actually is 
in his attitudes and behavior. This is particularly true of those who have 
reached the level of Mahdis (Initiates of the Fifth Circle). The Mahdis's 
expectations of spiritual attainment are: 

The initiation of the Fifth Circle is sometimes known as the transfigura- 
tion .... From this time forth the Mahdis is an illuminated person. He 
knows and sees the spiritual realities and understands those around him, 
and his and their standards of achievements. 

He begins to use and control all the psychic faculties within himself for 
a greater cause . . . and systematically for the progress of the whole 
human race and those beings in every plane within the universes of 
God. 22 

Because many initiates of the Fifth Circle do not see these qualities 
in themselves, they are bewildered and plagued by doubt. This is not 
surprising, because Eckankar (unlike other Shabd Yoga teachings) 
gives initiations beyond the second level that are tied to the continuous 
maintenance of membership. This, in turn, requires the payment of an 
annual membership fee. While other factors are taken into account, ful- 
filling this requirement is a prerequisite to higher levels of initiation. 

It is a common belief in Eckankar that spiritual initiations are based 
on a display of spiritual qualities observed by and known to the Living 
Eck Master. However, this is not the case. Initiations are mainly based 
on the number of years of continuous paid membership along with 
written recommendations from High Initiates (His) regarding partici- 
pation, service (not a requirement but a plus), and overall character and 
balance in life. Indeed, the process of selection for initiations is far 
more a function of the computer than the inner or outer knowledge of 
the Mahanta about his chelas. Harold amply demonstrated this fact in a 
communication during his years of conflict with the former Mahanta, 
the Living Eck Master, Darwin Gross. In the transcript of a meeting 
between Harold and a group of High Initiates held on Saturday, Octo- 


ber 22, 1983 (which was part of the public documentation revealed dur- 
ing the legal dispute between Darwin Gross and Eckankar), Harold 

[M]any of the initiation records we had were destroyed, were by Dar- 
win's orders erased. We've reconstructed much of this. We don't have 
very good records right now about your initiation levels I'm afraid to 
say. Another thing that was done and I have to be honest, that people 
were given 5 initiations by date and this is not the way to do it. Darwin 
just did a whole bunch here by date and anybody that had 5 years, they 
were sent a pink slip. There are some 5^ initiates who aren't 5^ ini- 
tiates. . . . And another issue that has to be faced . . . we're going to sit 
down, as we can get to all of these things and put out a program of a 
checking and rechecking before a person is recommended for initia- 

While the cavalier manner in which initiations were granted has 
changed since Darwin's time, their nature and the procedures by which 
selection is made remain essentially the same. Certainly, the process 
has not become more spiritual, only more efficient and protracted. 
There is still no relationship between each initiation level and the spiri- 
tual characteristics outlined in the Shariyat. Only with HI recommen- 
dations and the individual's computer record of membership payments 
can a determination be made to elevate a members initiation level. 

This is puzzling to those new to the teaching. They observe some 
His acting haughtily, mistreating those under their authority, and other- 
wise behaving inconsistently with their, presumed, high spiritual sta- 
tion. This has occurred with such frequency that Harold often makes 
statements that denigrate the spiritual attainment of His. 

Basing advancement in Eckankar on years in service makes no 
spiritual sense. Each individual comes into this world having lived 
through many past life experiences. These define the state of a per- 
son's spiritual attainment at the start of each lifetime. Thus, each of us 
begins our spiritual journey at a different level of spiritual awareness. 
We progresses at varying rates as our spiritual lessons are learned (or 
not). If initiations represent levels of spiritual attainment, which as we 
have seen are variable, how can a group who has participated as mem- 
bers of Eckankar for the same number of years receive initiations at the 
same time and at the same level? Certainly everyone in the group could 
not be at the same level spiritually. We observe this everyday, in all 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 189 

walks of life. People are different, and they progress at different rates. 
What does this mean in regards to Eckankar and its system of initia- 
tions? Simply put, initiation is a form of reward and control. 

Eckists below the level of Fifth Initiate are unaware of the mechan- 
ical process by which initiations are decided. No one wants to jeopar- 
dize his standing and opportunity to move up in Eckankar. Receiving a 
pink slip denoting eligibility for another initiation might thrill the 
recipient, but it has nothing to do with one's level of spiritual attain- 
ment. As Paul sometimes acknowledged, a master cannot give spiritual 
attainment to a chela; all he can do is plant the individual's feet on the 
path and the rest is up to him or her. However, by relinquishing this 
authority to the Mahanta, we have effectively surrendered our divine 
power to someone else and abdicated our responsibility as soul. 

The corollary to this is that the admonitions scattered throughout 
the Eckankar teaching, holding that certain actions and practices can 
cause the individual to lose initiations or otherwise be required to incar- 
nate over and over again, is equally fallacious. Remember the true 
advice Paul gave in The Flute of God: nothing can come to you or be 
taken away from you except in accordance with the state of your con- 
sciousness. This includes initiations or any other acknowledgement of 
spiritual attainment. The spiritual unfolding of an individual does not 
diminish by removal of an initiation any more than spiritual enlighten- 
ment comes from receiving one. After all, it is still up to the individual 
to chart his own spiritual course and never to surrender that responsibil- 
ity in exchange for a pink slip. 

The Mahanta, the Living Eck Master or any other spiritual master 
can only teach and guide. He cannot nor should he be allowed to deter- 
mine the speed or depth of our spiritual growth. If outer initiations have 
any value, it occurs when the individual makes a study of the high stan- 
dards expected at different levels of initiation. If then the individual 
embraces and embodies these characteristics, the initiation, like any 
promotion or other form of outer recognition, will have a positive 
effect on the individual's sense of self, supporting both inner and outer 

People often grow to fit the vessel in which they are placed, just as 
they grow to meet the expectations they or others set. Initiations above 


the second level are of this nature. If the individual embraces them and 
shapes his life accordingly, the initiation has a salutary effect. On the 
other hand, if this practice is not assiduously followed, then initiations 
become like the garments worn by actors on a stage, mere coverings for 
a reality that is only pretended. 

It is entirely up to the individual. Consequently, there are many 
who may come to a spiritual teaching who are more spiritually 
advanced than those who have attained high initiations within that 
teaching. Graham, our English colleague, is a perfect example of this. 
He obviously brought from past lifetimes a degree of spiritual attain- 
ment which, when activated in this lifetime, propelled him to a high 
level of inner awareness and experience. In the outer, Graham was a 
Second Initiate in Eckankar — as was Darwin Gross when he became 
the Living Eck Master. But, having written his journal and sent it to the 
Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, he was summarily demoted to a First 
Initiate. Graham often joked that he was "staring at the door to excom- 
munication" for having inner experiences with the Mahanta and having 
the temerity to apprise the Eckankar organization of them. Rather than 
help this chela understand these experiences, Harold simply dismissed 
them as the work of the Kal and removed an initiation without further 
explanation. But, does the removal of an initiation cause a person to 
lose his present state of spiritual awareness? Does removal impact his 
ability to soul travel? Will the forces that worked with him on the inner 
planes be less inclined to expose him to more spiritual wisdom? Of 
course, the answers to all of these questions is a resounding NO! 


One of the promises of many spiritual paths is that under the direc- 
tion of a true spiritual master, she no longer has to incarnate into this 
physical universe. Paul took this idea from Radhasoami and Kirpal 
Singh. A true spiritual master is supposed to take on or manage the 
karma of the individual chela so that she bypasses that fateful meeting 
with the "lords of karma," and continues under the direction of the 
master on some other plane of reality. Paul wrote: 

The Angel of Death is the agent of Kal Niranjan, who is relentless, mer- 
ciless, and administers absolute justice to each and all, regardless of 
their position in life. But he who is under the Mahanta's guiding hand 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 191 

will be free of all this; he will be met at the time of death by the Living 
ECK Master and be escorted to the place where he is to enjoy life in the 
spiritual worlds. He will never have to return again to the physical 
plane. ^'^ 

This promise has held great appeal to spiritual students around the 
world who relish the thought of finally being done with this plane of 
existence. But the "promise of escape" is dubious. The physical plane 
provides opportunities for growth not found in other worlds. Specifi- 
cally, the action-reaction sequence of thought to manifestation is 
slowed down to permit the individual, through trial and error, to learn 
the importance of and how to control thought. Aside from the promise 
of not returning to the physical plane being a false and unsupported 
claim, no more benefit would be derived from such an escape than 
would be achieved by a third-grade student being placed into college. 
The lessons of the third-grade are precisely what the student needs at 
that time. Elevation in academic level without the prerequisite demon- 
stration of proficiency would be counterproductive. Baba Faqir Chand, 
the Indian sage and practitioner of Surat Shabd Yoga, points to those 
who claim mastership and hold out this promise but are nothing more 
than fakers seeking to maintain control over their followers. 

In spite of these obvious problems with the claim of avoiding phys- 
ical incarnation, there remain those who assert that it is possible if only 
the student finds a true master. A true master is thought to be one who 
has been "anointed" through a process of succession involving a 
bestowal of authority from ones predecessor. This is the claim made by 
those in the Radhasoami Satsang tradition and their progeny. The 
Radhasoami Satsang Beas is slightly more that one hundred years old, 
and its progeny, the Ruhani Satsang started by Kirpal Singh (Paul's 
master), is of an even more recent date. While ostensibly representing a 
line of masters with uncluttered lines of succession, nothing could be 
further from the truth, as we will see in Chapter 1 1 . Indeed, by this def- 
inition of true mastership, the evidence is that none of the masters of 
the Radhasoami Satsang Beas tradition is a true master. ^s Today, there 
are hundreds if not thousands of Vi-Gurus peddling their teachings 
throughout India, Europe, and America, holding out the promise of 
final escape from the trials and tribulations of the physical world. But 


they are simply inveterate claims that travel from century to century in 
desperate search of contemporary validation, but finding none. 

Assuming for the moment that there is some validity to the claim 
that a "true master" can shield his chela from another incarnation, 
Paul's claim to mastership is even more dubious than that of his own 
master, Kirpal Singh. ^s Paul was never given the authority from him to 
give true initiations. So, he invented his own master, Rebazar Tarzs, 
from whom he received the fictional Rod of Eck Power. Having estab- 
lished himself as an exalted leader, Paul wasted no time in putting forth 
the historic promise of all Radhasoami masters. Paul asserted that all 
who receive the Second Initiation in Eckankar would have their karma 
worked off, and would no longer be required to incarnate in the physi- 
cal world. 

But as we have seen, no initiation by a master, especially under the 
dubious origins of the Radhasoami Beas tradition, and even more so of 
Eckankar, can relieve one of his karma. It is much like the Christian 
promise of relief from sin by the intercession of Jesus Christ. We have 
heard this claim before. Just as no one can take away the sins of the 
world, no one will or can take on all the karma of another individual — 
though we can help out at times. These so-called sins are experiences 
that are essential to spiritual growth. It is imperative that we learn from 
them for they are created by our own actions. Nothing can short circuit 
this process, except the accelerated learning of the individual followed 
by a change in behavior and attitude. 

True to Paul's penchant for ascribing supremacy to anything 
related to Eckankar, he wrote about the preeminence of the Mahanta 
and Eckankar as they pertain to karma and reincarnation: 

The Mahanta is the distributor of karma in this world and what he says 
is the word of the SUGMAD. All the Lords of Karma are under his hand 
and must do as he directs. ... He has been the spiritual head of the 
world since its creation. . . .^^ 

Eckankar 's claim to shelter its initiates from further incarnations in 
the physical are improbable if not disreputable. The God-seeker should 
follow the sounder advice that soul must look to itself for the responsi- 
bility of elevating spiritual consciousness. As soul is exposed to and 
embodies truth, it moves to a level of spiritual awareness where it 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 193 

serves no purpose to incarnate on this plane of existence: this is when 
physical incarnations cease. 

To achieve this, the individual must sit in silence, contemplating 
the inner realities of God and how it relates to daily existence. With 
time, this practice results in subtle yet profound changes in the individ- 
ual and a distinctly different mode of operation. There is no question of 
avoiding incarnations, for soul must exist somewhere in some dimen- 
sion of reality/illusion until it is able to encompass and dwell eternally 
in the here and now. Until then, where soul will continue its experi- 
ences depends entirely on what it needs for spiritual unfoldment. Its 
destiny is determined by how it has lived its past life and how it has 
served the universal cause of love and spiritual growth. 

A master wins no prize for relieving a student's karmic burden and 
need to reincarnate in this dimension. Experiences on any plane are 
absolutely essential for the spiritual growth of a God-seeker. Learning 
to read is more rapid with a teacher than by teaching oneself. However, 
if the student doesn't study, if he doesn't follow the teacher's guidance, 
he cannot expect to progress very rapidly. The same is true with study 
under a spiritual teacher. If the student does not apply the lessons of 
daily contemplation, recording inner experiences, and following other 
fundamental practices, he cannot expect his spiritual progress to be 

There is no free ticket to spiritual growth, and this is how it must 
be. When the God-seeker knows that the responsibility is on his shoul- 
ders, he views things quite differently. He realizes that participation in 
a religion such as Eckankar, paying yearly membership fees and 
receiving a Second Initiation is not enough to escape the responsibili- 
ties of life on the physical plane. He then awakens to the truth that it is 
and always has been in his own hands. Instruction and guidance are 
always available just for the asking. We are never alone, for our higher 
self, working with spirit and other entities dedicated to our spiritual 
growth, are always there. They are ever providing for, protecting, tutor- 
ing, and directing us. It is not that we cannot surrender and must shoul- 
der the burden of life by ourselves. The test and the lesson, however, 
are to learn to surrender to and rely upon our higher self working with 
divine spirit rather than some intercessor who only blocks our direct 


connection to the ONE. The God-seeker must never be deluded into 
thinking that a master will relieve him of the burden of life and growth, 
no matter how appealing it may sound. 

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad 

The current Living Eck Master emphasizes the Shariyat-Ki-Sug- 
mad as the Bible of Eckankar, and urges his followers to read it often 
and to follow its tenets. When he does this, he is essentially accepting 
and propagating every exaggeration, deception, and misstatement Paul 
ever made about Eckankar and the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. A 
continued reading of this text leads to an unprecedented level of indoc- 
trination into all the threats, hyperbole, and distortions it contains. This 
is precisely what Harold continues to recommend to every chela in 
Eckankar by his endorsement of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. Harold's 
prescription for my transgression of sending Graham's journal to him 
was precisely this, to read the Shariyat for six months. 

On the one hand, Harold acknowledges that, "Paul got into his 
early efforts to present the teachings of ECK even before he called 
them ECK and ECKANKAR." Harold makes this point because he has 
read the evidence revealing the truth about Paul and the origins of Eck- 
ankar. He knows that Eck and Eckankar were entirely of Paul's cre- 
ation. Despite being aware of these facts, Harold encourages the chela 
to continue to read and be indoctrinated into the false claim that Eckan- 
kar is the most ancient spiritual teaching known to mankind. 

Harold as much as admits that Eckankar was built, brick by brick 
(or perhaps card by card), during these early years, and had no ancient 
history, except what Paul invented. Indeed, during these early years he 
didn't even call it Eckankar — that came later.^s Yet Harold leaves the 
Spiritual Notebook and the Shariyat unchanged and in print, continuing 
to spread the false history and dogma of Eckankar with no warning or 

Even though Harold presents the benign face of Eckankar to an 
unsuspecting public, the longer one stays in the teaching, the deeper the 
indoctrination. Such is Harold's skill, a skill made inevitable by Paul's 
actions, and honed by Harold during his twenty years of protecting the 
pernicious legacy of Paul Twitchell and Eckankar. As recently as June 
2002, Harold continued his emphasis on reading and studying the 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 195 

Shariyat. Harold's new strategy is to promote the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad 
as a kind of self-help book for change: 

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad means the Way of the Eternal. Its descriptive 
title could well be the "Book of Change." It's all about change. The spir- 
itual benefit of the Shariyat is that it's a guide to better living. "To 
improve is to change," Winston Churchill, the British statesman, once 
observed. "To be perfect is to change often. "^^ 

In this clever recasting of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, Harold ties its 
content to the powerful idea of movement toward perfection. Accord- 
ingly, he mandates regular reading of the Shariyat, which will lock the 
unwary deeper into Eckankar. To help to ensure this, Harold concluded 
his comments in a Wisdom Notes article: 

The Shariyat is our holy book. It is a guide for all who desire to be true 
to the eternal teachings of ECK. Base your talks and actions on the 
words in the Shariyat, and you will reach those who are ready for Eck- 
ankar. ^° 

Harold knows that if he can turn the attention of chelas to the subtle 
influences incorporated into the Shariyat, then the doctrine of Eckan- 
kar is strengthened in their minds. While there are uplifting and valu- 
able insights in these books, we must never lose sight of the fear tactics, 
falsehoods, exaggerations, and dependency factor that the Shariyat 

As to the fear tactics, the Shariyat uses the age-old methods of fire 
and brimstone when, as we have seen earlier, this holy book and its 
derivatives warn of: dwelling in the astral hells,^! spiritual decay and 
swift death, 32 horrendous troubles that strike like a plague, ^3 and 
increased incarnations in this world. ^^ Other exaggerations subordinate 
all other paths and religions to Eckankar for the Shariyat promotes the 
distortions that: 

• Eckankar is the only and universal path to GOD.^^ 

• [T]here is no other path than ECK... [it is] the original and 
only path to God.^s 

• It is not possible to enter . . . Heaven except through the 
teachings of ECKANKAR. ^^ 


Adding to the hyperbole, the Shariyat deifies the spiritual leader of 

• [T]he Mahanta, which is God made flesh on Earth^^ 

• The Sat Gum [the Living Eck Master] is the Son of God ^^ 

• [A] 11 the power of God must reach these worlds 
through.... the Mahanta, the Living ECK Master. ^o 

• No man comes to the Sugmad (GOD) except through the 
Mahanta. 41 

This is just a sampling of the snares that await the devoted student 
of Eckankar. No wonder Harold wants the Eckist to make the Shariat 
her major source of reading and contemplation. Without altering or 
modifying its content or recommending passages that might promote 
the "change," "perfection," and "better living" that Harold advertises, 
he simply invites the chela inside. Harold knows the impact that such 
entry will have and the entrapment that lies in wait. The result is clear. 
Everyone who follows his entreaty will fall deeper into the indoctrina- 
tion. By simply directing the chela to this book, Harold has insured the 
perpetuation of the doctrine and the future of the teaching, for this is the 
nature of indoctrination. 

The Spiritual Exercises of Eck and the HU 

Origins of the HU 

Fortunately, there is one aspect of the teaching of Eckankar that is 
based on tradition and practice, and is as ageless as humankind's search 
for the direct experience of God. Paul's master, Kirpal Singh, who 
founded the Ruhani Satsang, taught him the techniques of meditation 
and contemplation. Singh taught his chelas the practice of going within 
to contact the light and sound of God. The Ruhani Satsang taught the 
HU as the most sacred of all sounds and the "word" that was behind all 
other sounds. 

In Islam, from which the word HU is more recently derived, it is 
considered the divine pronoun42 and is translated by some literally to 
mean "he.""^^ Recognizing that God has no gender, many prefer, in 
remembrance of the divide creator, to sing the word loudly as "WHO" 
or "Hooooooo.44 The Sufi tradition of Islamic mysticism teaches that 
sound manifests in different forms as it proceeds through "ten different 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 197 

tubes of the body."^^ These sounds take on the form of thunder, the 
roaring of the sea, the jingling of bells, running water, the buzzing of 
bees, the twittering of sparrows, the whistle, and others, until it merges 
into the HU. From this, it is concluded that all sounds are derived from 
the HU, making it the most sacred of all sounds, the sound behind all 
sounds, the Word. 

This interpretation is disputed by other world religions that claim 
the sound "OM" or "AUM" is the Word. Indeed, all of the attributes of 
HU are ascribed to OM including that it is the sound behind all sounds: 

OM moves the prana [spirit] or the cosmic vital force. In man, OM 
expresses prana or the vital breath. ... In every breath, man utters it, 
repeats it unintentionally and inevitably. Every vibration in the body and 
in the universe emerges from OM, sustains in OM, and returns to OM. 
Every humming emerges from OM, sustains in OM and returns to OM. 
A child cries, "OM, OM;" musicians hum, "OM, OM;" bees buzz, 
"OM, OM" the ocean roars, "OM, OM."^^ 

I would venture that God has no preference and also that all sounds and 
words are part of ALL THAT IS, and serve equally well in garnering 
God's attention. 

The True History of the HU 

As we have seen, Paul's basic writings on the HU are derived, word 
for word, from the text of Hazrat Inayat Khan. But Paul not only took 
the words, he virtually kidnapped the HU and made it the sole property 
of Eckankar. Most Eckists today believe that this is one of Eckankar 's 
principle contributions to the world, and that it emanated from the tra- 
dition of the Vairagi Eck Masters. This, of course, is not true. However, 
Eckankar must be given some credit for popularizing the HU sound and 
explaining its use to the public. But, Eckankar has never acknowledged 
HU's origins in the Islamic or Egyptian traditions: 

The Egyptian god HU was one of the minor gods in some respects, but 
he was one of the most important gods for those serious about Egyptian 
deities. HU is the power of the spoken word. He personifies the author- 
ity of utterance."*^ 

Harold put forth an entirely different version for the origins of the HU: 

[T]he teachings of ECK predate even the Aryan civilization, which 
began shortly after Atlantis went into the ocean. The Living ECK Master 
at that time was a man named Rama, who came from the dark forests of 


Germany and traveled to Tibet. On his way there, he left the message of 
ECK — the teaching of the Sound and Light of God and how to reach 
the Kingdom of Heaven in this lifetime — with the primitive people of 
northern Europe. Even today, there is a faint remembrance of HU, the 
secret name of God that he left with the people. . . . When Rama spoke 
of HU, he was referring to the divine Light and Sound. . . . The word 
HU was later used among the Druids, but they eventually lost the infor- 
mation about its true meaning. All that remained of Rama's teaching 
was a dim memory of the Light. . . . This is why historians today claim 
the Druids worshiped the Sun God HU.^^ 

Harold's account of the origins of the Eck teaching and of the HU is as 
false as many of Paul's tales. It must be viewed in light of Paul's pen- 
chant for grandiose claims. Harold's account conspicuously avoids any 
mention of the origins of the HU from sources that are known to 
recorded history — Islamic and Egyptian — in favor of a parallel his- 
tory whose provenance cannot be ascertained. 

It is true that the word HU was known within Druid history, but as 
the name Hu Gadarn, the Joshua of the Old Testament, who purport- 
edly came to Britain in the early fourteenth century B.C.E.^^ The Gaul- 
ish Druids called their Sun God by the name of HU or HU Hesus. The 
British Druid's knew HU as the name Hu (Hee) Gadarn — sometimes 
interpreted as Son of the Creator — or simply "Hu the Mighty. "^^ An 
interesting side note to this account of Druid history is the hypothesis 
that because of Joshua's link to the British Isles and the Biblical sanc- 
tion to Joshua that, "Every place that the sole of your foot will tread 
upon I have given you, as I said to Moses" (Joshua 1:3), some claim 
that Joshua's presence in Ireland and England makes their natives, "a 
chosen people."^! 

Harold's attempt to insert Eckankar into the history of pre-Aryan 
civilization and the Druids' use of the word HU is disingenuous at best. 
Harold published this passage in 1988 in his book. How to Find God. 
However, in moments of truthful reflection, Harold acknowledged that: 

But without realizing it, he [Paul] was just practicing. Someday he 
would have a chance to take this teaching called Eckankar — maybe he 
didn 't even know the name then — and put it in front of people. . . .^^ 

The ECK [spirit] teachings have been here from the earliest times, but 
they haven't carried the name of ECKANKAR [or ECK]. They have 
been brought out under different names at different times. . .^^ 

The Origins of Eckankar Doctrine 199 

The word "Eckankar" [and ECK] . . . was not used to describe any reh- 
gious doctrines [or ECK Masters] until the mid-1960's when the term 
was coined, adopted dind first used hy Paul Twitchell, Eckankar's mod- 
ern day founder. ^^4 

Obviously, these declarations invalidate Harold's 1988 reiteration of 
Paul's redacted history. Indeed, Harold's statements constitute an 
admission that a Living Eck Master named Rama never existed — 
much less influenced pre-Aryan and Druid civilizations. Along with 
the invalidation of these historical fabrications goes Eckankar's claim 
that it was the first to impart the HU to early civilizations. 

The origins of the HU are, ultimately, not important to the God- 
seeker. The important point is that all sounds or mantras can enable the 
individual to transcend the physical dimension and experience the 
ecstatic states and the inner planes. I have personally traveled into 
regions where I have heard the inner celestial sounds using the mantra 
of HU, AUM, and many others. They all work and can enable the indi- 
vidual to hear the remarkable and awe-inspiring sounds of the inner 
worlds. Ascribing greater magic to one sound or mantra over another is 
much like arguing whose God is greatest. It is a meaningless debate for 
everything is part of the ONE. Further, when the practitioner has had 
some experience with these mantras and the inner experiences that fol- 
low, she will come to the realization that these are not outside sounds; 
they are a part of her. 

The Validity of Spiritual Exercises 

The basic spiritual exercise of Eck, which Paul called "the easy 
way," is also the basic exercise of the Shabd Yoga tradition, and, as 
such, carries with it the intrinsic validity of this practice in the Yoga tra- 
dition. In these teachings, the HU is sung "Hooooooo," whereas in 
Eckankar, it is sung "Huuuuuuuu" or "hugh" — Paul's effort to make it 
unique. The difference is of no real significance. Each sound will work 
and should be continued if it works for you. 

Paul outlined many techniques by which the individual could tran- 
scend the physical and experience the inner realities. These are dis- 
cussed in one of his earlier books, Eckankar - The Key to Secret 
Worlds. For the most part, this book imparts techniques that have been 
tried and tested within Eastern teachings to great effect. Paul articu- 


lated them in a way the West could better understand them, and, in this 
regard, Paul made an important contribution. 

The endless parade of unpronounceable Hindu, Pali, and Sanskrit 
words is quite off-putting to most in the West, and this is one of the 
main reasons these practices have gained so little ground here. If one 
removes the hype and fiction from Eckankar - The Key to Secret 
Worlds, there is still much to recommend it. Ultimately, however, Paul 
defiled this book, as he did all those that preceded and followed it, with 
an assortment of falsehoods mixed with smatterings of spiritual truth. 

In later years, Harold created and presented many additional tech- 
niques, most of them based on the principles of Shabd Yoga.^^ They all 
work, and generally are useful techniques with which to have inner 
experiences. However, one must be cautious in practicing Eckankar's 
exercises, because they are filled with imagery and fantasy that can 
sink the practitioner deeper into illusions and lies, especially when 
involving the Eck Masters. Only by realizing this, can one escape Eck- 
ankar's traps and regain his true footing as soul and continue his jour- 
ney to God. 

The Principles and Precepts of Eckankar 

The student of Eckankar is taught that there are four principles that 
should be imprinted upon his heart and mind. Having seen the truth 
about Eckankar, it is not difficult to see how a subtle brainwashing is at 
work as the student incorporates these principles into his very being. 

There is but one God and Its reality is the SUGMAD. 

The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master, is the messenger of the SUG- 
MAD in all worlds, be they material, physic, or spiritual. 

The faithful, those who follow the works of ECK, shall have the bless- 
ings and riches of the heavenly kingdom given unto them. 

The Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad is the holy book of those who follow ECKAN- 
KAR, and there shall be none above it. Spiritually, therefore, cannot be 
taught, but it must be caught.'^'^ 

Once accepted and absorbed, these four principles speak for them- 
selves as final evidence of the entrapping nature of the dogma and doc- 
trine of Eckankar. 




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Chapter 9 — The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 

Throughout this book, we have encountered the strange mix of 
Paul's sincerity, brilHance, and spiritual insight as well as his fabrica- 
tion, plagiarism, and deceptions. The scope and frequency of Paul's 
prevarication leave little doubt of their being normal behavior or 
responses to life. Paul's actions cannot be glossed over with sanctimo- 
nious references to his spiritual mission. Having exclusive access to all 
of Paul's documents, Harold and possibly Darwin knew of or suspected 
Paul's character flaws. In fact, Harold's defense is highly revealing; it 
provides information for understanding the conundrum of Paul Twitch- 
ell. We shall now explore this conundrum and show it to be consistent 
with an abnormal state described in psychological literature. 

The Nature of Dogma 

First, let us consider the meaning of dogma. Given what we now 
know, a reasonable question might be. What enabled the fiction "Each 
Living Eck Master has served as the Mahanta, which is God made flesh 
on earth"! to persist? Why did no one question this presumptuous state- 
ment: "The Living ECK Master is the only manifestation of the SUG- 
MAD [God] on earth?"^ The answer lies in the power of dogma, which 
Webster 's defines as: 

Something held as an established opinion: a definite authoritative tenet: 
a code of such tenets: a point of view or tenet put forth as authoritative 
without adequate grounds: a doctrine or body of doctrines concerning 
faith or morals formally stated and authoritatively proclaimed by a 
church. 3 

The remarkable thing about dogma and its attendant doctrines is 
that they do not have to be true or even make sense. The "proof and 
power of dogma lie in the belief followers place in it, not in anything 
intrinsic to it. Dogma is given life and power by the believer's faith in 


its originator, his teachings, and successors. For Paul's successors, it 
didn't matter whether they had any personal validation of the mystical 
power that supposedly inhered in the Mahanta. Paul said it and wrote it, 
therefore, it had to be true. Such was the belief and confidence Eckists 
had in his integrity, honesty, and even the beings with whom he 
claimed to communicate. 

Darwin's belief was based solely on the love and confidence he 
placed in Paul and his writings. Harold's belief, in turn, was built upon 
the confidence he had in his two predecessors, that is, until he excom- 
municated Darwin for acts detrimental to Eckankar and the Mahanta — 
an ironic but revealing turn of events. After being exposed to the frauds 
Paul's records reveal, Harold could only look to the dogma of Eckankar 
and faith in Paul as the foundation of his belief. Initially, Harold felt 
compelled to debunk the dogma that deified the Mahanta, the Living 
Eck Master, but ultimately, he returned to and fully embraced it.^ 

What we have, then, is Eckankar 's powerful dogma, which is based 
on belief in its founder, whose record cried for scrutiny and could not 
stand up to it. Even as I discovered distortion after distortion in Paul's 
writing, I continued to believe in his sincerity and the truth in his 
works. But his sincerity and deceptiveness were incongruous to me. I 
could not understand a man who could write about such magnificent 
truths one moment, then put forth an immense lie the next. The ethics 
of this cliff hanger completely eluded me. 

Then during a staff meeting, I described this remarkable conun- 
drum. I mentioned how he could announce the founding of Eckankar in 
the sixties one moment, then proclaim it an ancient spiritual path the 
next. Someone jestingly observed, "Paul Twitchell had some issues!" 
We laughed and continued our discussion, but the comment stuck with 
me. I could find no explanation for his paradoxical behavior that made 
any sense by standards I knew or by those in his writings. The discus- 
sion on standards describes what he presumably believed about truth 
and the principles that should guide the life of a God-seeker. Then, as 
example after example of a life lived startlingly contrary to his princi- 
ples became clear, I began to find a common thread, a reconciling con- 
cept to explain these troubling anomalies. 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 205 

During my research, I used the expression "serial prevaricator" as a 
euphemism, not appreciating the truth that lay in the term. Every time I 
tried to move past the issue of Paul's psychological state to another part 
of this book, something kept pulling me back. After combing through 
books on psychology, articles in professional journals, and the vast data 
on the Internet, an answer began to emerge. I found a thread tying 
things together and explaining this enigmatic man. The answer lies in 
an analysis of his distortions, inconsistencies, and lies as well as the 
psychological state that permits an individual to exude sincerity, belief, 
and aplomb. Paul, I came to conclude, went beyond the "rascal" Harold 
described, and behaved consistently with what psychologists call a 
"pathological liar." 

The Nature of Mythomania 

The suspicion that the founder of Eckankar was a pathological liar 
was initially difficult to entertain. I had read, studied, and followed his 
teachings for almost thirty years. Being suddenly forced to acknowl- 
edge that much of my belief was based on the works of such a person 
was a difficult pill to swallow. But I knew that if I did not confront the 
truth, whatever it was, I would never be free of Paul's and Eckankar 's 
insidious effects on me. Paul's life has to be examined against what is 
known about pathological lying. 

The following definition is the most comprehensive in describing 
this phenomenon: 

Pathological lying is falsification entirely disproportionate to any dis- 
cernible end in view, engaged in by a person who, at the time of obser- 
vation, cannot definitely be declared insane, feebleminded, or epileptic. 
Such lying rarely, if ever, centers about a single event; although exhib- 
ited in very occasional cases for a short time, it manifests itself most fre- 
quently by far over a period of years, or even a lifetime. It represents a 
trait rather than an episode. Extensive, very complicated fabrications 
may be evolved. This has led to the synonyms: mythomania, pseudolo- 
gia phantastica.^ 

William and Mary Healy offered this definition in their respected study 
on the subject. This book is significant for its recognition of the need to 
look at the pathological liar as a special category of psychological phe- 
nomenon. They wrote: 


A clear terminology should be adopted. The pathological liar forms a 
species by himself and as such does not necessarily belong to any of 
these larger classes.*^ 

A. Delbriick, a late nineteenth-century German psychiatrist, con- 
ducted the earliest studies of this condition. He coined the term 
"pseudologia phantastica," later adopted by other writers on the sub- 
ject. Delbriick's work provided early warnings of the harm such liars 
cause to families and society in general by their falsifications and 
deceit. During this same period, another German psychiatrist, Koppen, 
contributed to the analysis of the pathological liar and the nature of the 
lies he told: 

The pathological lie is active in character, a whole sequence of experi- 
ences is fabricated and the products of fancy brought forward with a cer- 
tainty that is astonishing. The possibility that the untruth may be at any 
minute demolished does not abash the liar in the least. Remonstrances 
against the lies make no impression. On closer inspection we find that 
the liar is no longer free, he has ceased to be master of his own lies, the 
lie has won power over him, it has the worth of a real experience. In the 
final stages of the pathological lie, it cannot be differentiated from delu- 

In an excellent and comprehensive 1997 compilation on mythomania, 
its editor asserts: 

Deception and truth are polar opposites on a continuum with various 
degrees of departure from blatant dishonesty to unbending truth. A 
small dose of duplicity may interfere little with family and social duties. 
... It may either pass unnoticed or receive endorsement within a cultur- 
ally stipulated range of conduct. By contrast, some flagrant falsities that 
violate cultural codes by their ineptitude, absurdity, or extravagance . . . 
have long attracted the attention of the medical profession.^ 

Another closely related condition is "megalomania:" 

A psychopathological condition in which delusional fantasies of wealth, 
power, or omnipotence predominate; an obsession with grandiose or 
extravagant things or actions.^ 

In an elaboration of pseudologia phantastica, Bernard Risch in 
1908 noted several important characteristics of pathological liars. He 
observed that they typically had mental processes similar to those with 
literary gifts. The same passion and creativity found in novelists, poets, 
and playwrights are found in pathological liars. Both are able to forget 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 207 

who, what, and where they are, and create a new and often convincing 
reality. The difference, however, is that the artist is creating this reality 
within a socially acceptable context: we know it is his art to fabricate a 
reality of sorts for our entertainment. But the pathological liar is an art- 
ist without a socially-valued talent; his audiences are unaware of their 
roles in his works. He plies his art to whomever he meets or to whoever 
reads his creation. He does not distinguish art from reality and wants us 
to believe that they are one and the same. 

Does the Shoe Fit? 

The more I compared Paul with these definitions, the more things 
fell into place. Paul, I came to see, was a talented but frustrated poet 
and writer, whose work did not win him the recognition or monetary 
reward he had hoped for. Paul published some of his novels through 
Eckankar later in life, when followers were always eager to praise his 
genius and reward his erudition. He was quite accomplished in the nov- 
elist's skills of character development and plot construction. Yet he was 
not always willing to allow his novels to carry the label of fiction. 
Instead, Paul wanted his audience to believe that some of his fictional 
creations were factual accounts of his life. 

Nowhere is this clearer than in The Drums ofEck. In the opening of 
this account of the life of Peddar Zaskq (which later caused much con- 
fusion about where and when Peddar Zaskq [Paul Twitchell] was actu- 
ally born), Paul betrays concern his book might be received as a mere 

The narrative which is laid down in this book, The Drums ofECK, may 
appear to the reader to be fiction but it is a true story. i° 

This tendency to blend fiction and reality in Eckankar found fuller 
expression in the Vairagi Masters. He diligently and cunningly devel- 
oped their personalities and histories with great attention to detail. 
Paul's efforts, as we have seen, resulted in names and brief histories for 
about 125 of the 971 masters who had supposedly served before him. 
He knew that if he did his job well, the imagination of the individual 
would kick in and bring these characters to life in the inner and often 
the outer realities of followers. 


Risch also observed that the pathological liar is predisposed to play 
the role of the person(s) in his fiction. The line between fiction and 
reality is blurred, and he believes in and becomes what he has created. 
Though Paul had studied the traditions of the Radhasoami Satsang 
Beas teaching and observed the ways of one of its masters, he cut off 
his association with this spiritual line. But it later suited his purposes to 
become a master, which necessitated a new line of masters, whose 
invented tradition he would step into and carry forth. He artfully cre- 
ated a new line of Eck Masters and became the 97 P^ Mahanta, the Liv- 
ing Eck Master. 

It was not enough simply to create a line of masters; it had to be the 
oldest, greatest, and most powerful line of masters. Here, we see Paul's 
disposition not only to fictionalize, believe in, and become what he cre- 
ated, but also, consistent with the tendencies of megalomania, to 
exceed in his creation anything heretofore known to mankind. Paul 
understood how to tell the Big Lie. He not only played the role of the 
Mahanta, but also evinced such strong belief from followers that, in his 
mind, he actually became the Mahanta. There is an interesting story in 
Eckankar circles of an encounter between Paul and a famous Holly- 
wood starlet. Desiring to have a spiritual consultation with him, she 
gave him her address and directions. Paul is reputed to have mused, 
"Who does she think she is, if I'm who I think I am?" 

Risch describes the pathological liar as demonstrating strong ego- 
centricity. True to this form, Paul declared that, as the Mahanta, he was 
"God made flesh, the Son of God, and the most developed human on 
the planet." These and numerous other references are about as egocen- 
tric if not megalomaniac as one can get, at least not without delving 
into outright insanity. 

Another tendency discussed by Risch is reduction in powers of 
attention. The pathological liar is unable to remember and eliminate 
discrepancies in his story. Paul demonstrated remarkable abilities in 
this area. He knew when to be vague and how to thwart the likelihood 
of detection. But even he could not pay attention to all of the details in 
the elaborate fiction of his many lives. This accounts for the discrepan- 
cies in his life and the history of Eckankar we have seen in previous 
chapters. Paul liked to tell of his military exploits during the Second 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 209 

World War. He relayed stories of his combat experience to his biogra- 
pher, who dutifully wrote: 

Once in the Pacific when the fleet was under attack by Japanese fighter 
planes, Paul was serving as gunnery officer with a small crew of men on 
a twenty-millimeter gun in one of the forward tubs aboard ship.^^ 

Harold couldn't abide by that one and, in The Secret Teachings, he 

For some reason he never got assigned to combat duty. When his Navy 
bosses discovered his gift with words, they put him into public rela- 
tions. ^^ 

But he could not let on that it was part of a pattern. 

Finally, the pathological liar demonstrates debility in judgment. 
While demonstrably sound in most respects, there is disjuncture 
between ethics and actions. His judgment is also lacking in the ability 
to discern whether or not others perceive his mendacity. Paul had the 
remarkable ability to believe in and act in accordance with the fiction 
of Mahanta and other myths. He was not troubled by the flood of mem- 
ories and inner warnings that alert most people to inconsistency 
between present statements and actual past. His inability to presage the 
inevitable discovery of his distortions and fictions shows a failure in 

Current psychological discourse about this pathology starts with 
the classic description of "antisocial personality disorder profile," of 
which pathological lying is a part.^^ While many characteristics of the 
antisocial personality were evinced in Paul's life, our discussion will 
deal with only one of them. This characteristic focuses on pathological 
lying and forms the basis of the pathology "mythomania." This pattern 

Deceitfulness, as indicated by repeated lying, use of aliases, or conning 
others for personal profit and pleasure. . . .'^'^ 

As will be shown in the summary below, Paul's pattern of behavior is 
festooned with lying, making his life a living billboard for this charac- 
teristic. Harold has admitted that Paul frequently used aliases. ^^ Paul 
used them not only for pseudonyms for his stories and articles, which, 
after all, is a fairly common practice among writers; but also for self- 
promotion by submitting stories and write-ups about himself, in which 


he "exaggerated and twisted the facts. "^^ He was quite successful in 
these efforts and had articles containing fictionalized accounts of his 
feats printed in Who 's Who in Kentucky'^'^ and (ironically) Ripley 's 
Believe It or Not. '^^ He would even create a buzz at public gatherings by 
dishonest means: 

Paul was a born promoter. His wife told me that Paul would attend 
county fairs and pay to have himself paged so people would hear his 
name. She gave me a postcard Paul had made up in the early 1940s of a 
lavish mansion . . . printed on the front was "Home of Paul Twitchell 
American Author" of course, Paul had never lived there. 

Paul never traveled out of the USA except to go the Canadian side of 
Niagara Falls ... so he never did go to India. She read In My Soul and 
just laughed . . . "that's Paul," she would say! ^^ 

As we have seen, Paul engaged in numerous deceptions and flat- 
out falsities that are easy enough to disprove. The false and misleading 
statements about his life were so easily uncovered that one wonders 
why he engaged in such blatant prevarication to begin with. I believe 
Harold recognized what Paul had done, and, in an attempt to clear the 
record of many of his indiscretions, admitted that Paul had a proclivity 
to exaggeration and impishness: 

To say he had a checkered life is an understatement. In many ways he 
was quite a rascal. 2° 

Paul's self-promotion knew no bounds. I had many questions when 
examining articles in the Paducah Library's material on Paul Twitchell. 
They struck me as just a bit too promotional and rarely gave a date or 
the newspaper from which they came. Apparently, he wrote articles 
about himself, had a friend print them professionally, and then sent 
them to the local library where they masqueraded as legitimate news 
stories to be kept for posterity.^i Many of Paul's apologists point to 
these articles as proof of his accomplishments and legitimacy, but in 
reality they are more instances of his deceptiveness. 

Some of Paul's claims are undoubtedly true and are validated by 
information in Harold's The Secret Teaching. Other claims, however, 
simply fill the ledger of probable fiction in the life and times of Paul 
Twitchell. His claims most likely untrue are in boldface. Those most 
likely true are in regular type: 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 211 

Star high school athlete^^ 

Star college athlete^^ 

College athletic trainer24 

Member of two college faculties^^ 

Professional baseball scout^^ 

River traffic manager for an oil company ^^ 

Public relations officer^^ 

Professional boxer^^ 

Cabin boy on a Mississippi riverboat^^ 

Pearl diver in South America^i 

Gold hunter in New Guinea^^ 

Student of voodoo in the West Indies^^ 

Accomplished mountain climber, almost dying while 
scaling an Alaskan mountain in mid-winter^^ 
Student for one year in an Indian monastery^^ 

Member of an Indian religious cult in Maryland for 
five years^-s 

Writer for a magazine published in Japan by an Indian reli- 
gious group 

"Ancestry traced back to 1085 when Alvered De 
Inspannic, a Spanish gentleman of adventure received 
twenty-six districts in which was the district of Tur- 
chet, from William the Conqueror, for his services in 
the conquest of England. In the year of 1461 John Tur- 
chet received from Henry VI, the barony of Audley and 
was held until the year 1631, having developed the 
name of Turchet to Twitchell''^^ 

"According to word received here Paul Twitchell ... is 
rated one of the highest in the history of free lancing in 
selling and publishing during the first year of any 
writer. Twitchell [since] 1940 has sold published more 
than 100 articles, stories and poems.... His works have 
been received by such institutions as Harvard, Yale, 


University of Michigan, Dartmouth and many oth- 
ers.... ^^ 

• "In his best writing year, Twitchell says he sold 1,200 
stories and articles "^^ 

• "Of the five novels he's had published (four of them in 
England), one, a mystery, may be filmed in England 

Some acts of dishonesty and self-deception are part of almost every 
person's life. It is simply a matter of degree. When we tell ourselves we 
look fine, though in reality a loss often pounds is necessary, estheti- 
cally and medically, we are engaging in a form of self-deception and 
avoidance. There are times we refuse to see excess weight and deceive 
ourselves through strategic amnesia. This foible affects all of us in 
some respect. Whether by elaborating our past or modifying aspects of 
our personal life (age, weight, accomplishments), most everyone has at 
some point engaged in some puffery or omission. Paul's behavior goes 
beyond these venial examples of deception and fits the description of 
the states of pathological lying and mythomania. Paul's tales of mas- 
ters, inner temples, and of his own life compose a body of fiction and 
myth that is phenomenal in scope and audacity. 

The sincerity and conviction in Paul's writing also fits one of the 
key characteristics of the pathological liar. Paul had the capacity to 
believe in the stories he had created. Paul's conviction was so absolute 
that he could talk and write at length about Sudar Singh and Rebazar 
Tarzs, although the evidence establishes they were fictional characters 
substituted for Kirpal Singh and other real masters. Yet, the unwary 
reader senses and is moved by the strength of Paul's belief in his words. 
When the ability to believe in the moment is accompanied by a disre- 
gard for the truth, there is a monumental problem created for all who 
have trusted and believed. With Paul, 

... a whole sequence of experiences is fabricated and the products of 
fancy brought forward with a certainty that is astonishing. ^^ 

As shown in a previous chapter, he wove and obfuscated the facts to 
make Eckankar synonymous with spirit and therefore the source of all 
knowledge and life in the entire universe. He made proclamations so 
fantastic that they exceeded every example of mythomania, if not meg- 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 213 

alomania, that could be found in a comprehensive review of the litera- 

Pathological lying manifests over a period of years or even a life- 
time. ^^ From what we know, Paul's life followed this pattern. When the 
characteristics of the pathological liar are compared with Paul's life 
story, the parallels are remarkable. Paul's own family and those who 
knew him in his youth speak with one voice on his life-long tendency 
to tell tall tales. The widow of Paul's brother states that much of Paul's 
early life, as contained in Brad Steiger's biography, is untrue: 

Almost all of what Steiger wrote was a fanciful yarn developed over the 
years by Paul himself ^^ 

In a painfully candid letter, Paul's brother-in-law, Paul Iverlet, writes: 

In his book [In My Soul I Am Free] he states he was an illegitimate child 
and that his mother referred to him as "you bastard." This is a lie. His 
mother was a good Christina [sic] woman, a member of the Church of 
Christ and so was his father. He goes on to say that his Grandmother 
was an old lady who used tobacco and was quite a gay old blade, and 
who financed a trip for her granddaughter, my wife, to study in France. 
This is another atrocious lie. His book is full of lies. Most everyone who 
knew him considered him a crook. The entire family is now deceased. I 
am sorry to hear of anyone being hooked on any of his teachings. ^^ 

An interesting side bar is an article in the Twitchell Collection at 
the Paducah Library. One of the articles had the startling headline: 

Friction in Twitchell Camp of Liar's League: 
Charter members quibble on best qualified for presidency 

Two weeks ago, the Paducah Press started something when it proposed 
to organize the Paducah Press Liars League. It started out of fun, but 
now the liars are quibbling as to whom [sic] is the biggest liar and 
deserves the presidency of the league. . . . Paul Twitchell, head of the 
city recreation department, was the leading candidate for the crown last 
week but as we go to press, there is friction in the Twitchell Camp. . . . 
So all of you will know what the trouble is, here's a little inside informa- 
tion. The league is being organized to create a closer feeling among 
local amateur liars with professionals being ineligible. Now the amateur 
status of Mr. Twitchell is questioned. . . .^^ 

As Harold read the details of Paul's life, contained in his private 
papers and unpublished books that Gail Twitchell sold to Eckankar, he 


obviously knew something was amiss. Describing his thoughts after 
reading letters Paul had written over the years, Harold wrote: 

His correspondence was so diverse that there were times I couldn't quite 
figure out if this was the real Paul Twitchell or if it was one of his 
masks. ^'5 

The "masks" to which Harold referred were part of the deception Paul 
used to great effect. He did not see a pattern of consistent honesty that 
one would expect from a normal person. Not that there would be no dif- 
ficulty in completely understanding Paul, but one could reasonably 
expect to find a single face, an openness about his past, and a plausible 
alignment of facts. But, as Harold had to admit, Paul started his pattern 
at an early age: 

Early in his youth he was involved in a variety of activities, but he made 
it a point to obscure any facts associated with this life. In so doing, he 
left a trail so clouded that it's going to take our historians years to piece 
it tog ether. 4^ 

This account fits the pattern described by the Healys when they wrote: 

[I]t manifests itself most frequently by far over a period of years, or 
even a lifetime. It represents a trait rather than an episode. ^^ 

As Harold likes to say, it couldn't be clearer. Paul started at an early 
age, warping the facts of his life so that there would be conflicting and 
exasperating evidence. 

This also recalls the first characteristic in the definition: proneness 
to "falsification entirely disproportionate to any discernible end in 
view." While the pattern of many of the lies in later stages of Paul's life 
has specific objectives and are quite calculated, these early distortions 
have no discernible end. At this point, "early in his youth," Paul's dis- 
tortions are better described as part of a character fault, an inclination to 
mislead and create a reality different from the truth. Harold helps us to 
see the seeds of this behavioral pattern. They had been highly devel- 
oped by the time he decided to create Eckankar. In reviewing the writ- 
ten records of Paul's life, Harold provides us with a glimpse of Paul's 
reasoning and his strategy in obscuring his record. He likens it to a tax 
protestor trying to hide from the responsibility of paying taxes: 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 215 

[0]ne way to obscure your record is to provide the computers with such 
a mishmash or volume of information that no one could keep up with 

Only Harold has access to these records, and only he is in a position 
to characterize what he has seen. In any case, it is difficult to square 
Harold's description with Paul's admonition about the "truth, the whole 
truth, and nothing but the truth." Harold provides even more evidence 
of this pattern: 

At 27 years of age, the most Paul had ever done was to teach physical 
education. But by the time he wrote it all up, exaggerating and twisting 
the facts, he had worked up a nice little paragraph about all the grand 
achievements of one Paul Twitchell. '^^ 

Obviously, Harold's description of Paul's actions as "exaggerating and 
twisting the facts" is a euphemism. Harold tried very hard to paint 
things in the best light possible and attributed most of his findings to 
the experiences that Paul had to go through to become the Mahanta, the 
Living Eck Master. How else could a true believer or someone whose 
position depends on true believers describe it? 

Some of Paul's more egregious distortions and lies include: 

• His date of birth and allowing such distortions to persist^^ 

• His place of birth, in this lifetime and in a past lifetime^^ 

• His birth mother and her background'^^ 

• His birth father^^ 

• His spiritual master^s and training in Indians 

• His experience and achievement to get into Kentucky's 

Who 's Who^^ 

• His background and experience to get published in Rip- 
ley 's Believe It or NoP^ 

• His military service^^ 

• His association with Kirpal Singh^^ 

• Lies about his experiences in The Tiger 's Fang (claiming 
that Rebazar Tarzs not Kirpal Singh accompanied him)-:^! 


• Hundreds of instances of plagiarism over many years; and 
persistence in the practice of plagiarism even after it had 
been demonstrated^^ 

• The line of 971 Vairagi Eck Masters with cunning and 
imagination, and fabrication of historical references and 
histories for more that 125 of them's^ 

• A super-deity called "the Mahanta, the Living Eck Mas- 
ter," endowed with such mythological powers (e.g., "God 
made flesh," "Son of God," etc.) as to constitute 

• Attribution of writings and plagiarisms to fictional Eck 
Masters rather than revealing their true source^^ 

• Origins of terminology, concepts, and principles in the 
Radhasoami Satsang teaching 

• Sources of inner planes to distinguish Eckankar 's cosmol- 
ogy from that of Radhasoami Satsang from whom he cop- 
ied it. 

Normal writers openly carry their pasts with them. It is what con- 
strains excess and causes them to hold to the truth in their work. The 
conviction in their writing comes from an inner comfort that they have 
been true to their past. There is even a perceivable note of caution in 
their writing as they scan their memory for inconsistencies. But the 
pathological liar has no such constraint. He is able to dive into his work 
and create a personal and self-serving reality that is complete and self- 
contained within a particular story line. His chief concern is that the 
story be consistent with what has been said or written before. 

Lest we think the pathological liar is without charm or amicability, 
we are reminded that: 

While the normal liar and swindler is forced to be on his guard lest he 
divulge something of the actual state of affairs, and is therefore either 
taciturn or presents an evil and watchful appearance or, if a novice at his 
trade, is hesitating in his replies, the pathological liar has a cheerful, 
open, free, enthusiastic, charming appearance, because he believes in 
his stories and wishes their reality. '^'^ 

As one reads the various accounts of Paul's personal life, as told by 
Patti Simpson, Harold Klemp, Brad Steiger, and others, Paul comes 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 217 

across as a kind, considerate, totally serious advocate for the Eckankar 
teaching. His cheerfulness and enthusiasm were infectious and evoked 
great dedication from Eckists: 

The one thing every single person remembered the most was the great 
love that Paul had for others. ... He showed kindness and consideration 
for even the smallest concerns of others. "^^ 

These characteristics as much as anything make it difficult to 
ascribe malevolent motives to Paul. But these positive traits are consis- 
tent with those of the pathological liar. They are part of the act. Such a 
kind, considerate, and loving person, one is prone to believe, would 
certainly not lie. In assuming that Paul would always speak the truth, 
the seeker would also feel that the master was someone who could be 
trusted, and in whose hands she could surrender her spiritual life. Paul 
evoked total devotion from his followers. His warm personality was so 
disarming that no one ever publicly suggested that something under- 
handed might be at work. Such a revelation would have helped many 
Eckists who struggled to understand how a spiritually gifted man could 
indulge in something so base as plagiarism and distortion. That virtu- 
ally no one connected the dots to see the pattern to Paul's behavior 
helps to explain how Eckankar has survived so long. 

Defenders of the Faith 

This leads to a fascinating question. What awaits the person who 
defends the life and teachings of a pathological liar? What price does 
he pay for misleading and allowing others to be misled by a teaching he 
knows to be false? Harold's writings show the dangers of defending the 
indefensible. Devotion to truth is replaced with devotion to an individ- 
ual, an organization, and its dogma. 

This was apparent following my last talk to an Eckankar audience, 
when I spoke of "the ONE" (God) and said that the true inner guidance 
comes from within, from soul. I presented techniques for tapping the 
inner power each of us possesses. I discussed how everyone must look 
inside for answers and not to a master. I likened the master's role to that 
of a parent or teacher: it is initially important but must eventually come 
to an end. Interestingly, these ideas are found in Paul's writings (contra- 
dicted in his later writings, of course) but are no longer part of Eckan- 
kar doctrine. It is the imperious passages of the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad to 


which the attention of the Eckist is now focused. It is the dogma about 
Eckankar expressed in these volumes that is now the core of the teach- 
ings of Eckankar. 

For such heresy, I received a letter from Eckankar reprimanding 
me for pronouncements inconsistent with "Eckankar doctrine" — their 
very words. They directed that I should no longer speak in the name of 
Eckankar. They were right of course, for, by that time, I had uncovered 
much of the truth revealed in this book and could no longer teach their 
doctrine, as they wanted. As a God-seeker, I could only communicate 
the truth as I knew and understood it. I have stated that truth is the 
sacred connection that we have with the infinite. It is the infallible road 
to the awareness of ALL THAT IS, of which we are all a part. To aban- 
don truth for the fool's gold of a self-appointed master, the lure of pious 
initiations, and the promise of never having to reincarnate is to delay or 
abandon the quest for God-Realization. 

Instead of the noble path of helping others toward God-Realization, 
Harold has detoured souls into an illusory world from which spiritual 
liberation is necessary before the journey to God-Realization can 
resume. Having chosen this course, Harold must now stand guard to 
defend his organizational prize from pretenders and reformers who 
would wrest it from him. For now, he has locked himself in his head- 
quarters and linked his fate with the defense of a lie. Harold's attempt 
to rationalize deception and dishonesty betrays the path he has chosen. 
Harold is now the apologist-in-chief for the mythomania in the life and 
teachings of Paul Twitchell. 

This does not mean that Paul and his successors did not integrate a 
measure of truth in their writings and teachings. They have, as I have 
tried to make clear. Had this not been so, the hundreds of thousands 
who have read and been influenced by Paul's writings and also those of 
Darwin and Harold, would have abandoned Eckankar long ago. Even 
when the fiction of the Vairagi Masters, the manufactured history of 
Eckankar, and the deification of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, is 
removed, important truth remains amid the shambles. 

The journey to awareness of our oneness with the infinite has only 
experienced a brief detour, but perhaps a salutary one. The God-seeker 
need only disengage from personalities, organizations, and dogma and 

The Psychology of Paul Twitchell 219 

reaffirm truth as the center of life. There is a great deal that can be 
retained as she moves on in her spiritual growth. We have all been at 
this juncture before. Once realigned, her course is righted and she 
emerges from the experience wiser and stronger. There should be no 
regrets, for this is how soul learns and grows. The test is whether soul 
knows when to let go and move on to the next step in the journey. 

Chapter 10 — Eckankar Following the 
Twitchell Years 

Earlier chapters have presented the true history of Eckankar from 
its origins in 1965 to Paul's death in 1971. Most Eckists know little 
about this subject and virtually nothing about what has happened since 
Paul's death. Harold has put forth a sanitized version of this history, but 
it captures little of the organizational tumult of those years. 

Outsiders who have read David Lane's expose of Paul and Eckan- 
kar, ^ or who have scoured the Internet to learn from former Eckists, 
have a dramatically different view from those still in the teaching. 
Those who have seen behind the fa9ade assume that Eckists are aware 
of Lane. They do not understand how followers could stay in the teach- 
ing after such troubling if not devastating revelations. For the most 
part, Eckists do not know Eckankar 's history or controversies. They are 
busy spreading the message and studying Eck works. There is virtually 
no discussion or awareness of the real history of this teaching and the 
often bitter experiences of those who have left. In spite of the informa- 
tion on the Internet, both pro and con, Eckists, particularly those who 
have been in the teaching a long time, remain unaware of it. 

Eckists tend to leave the path when they discover aspects of the 
teaching that cannot be reconciled with their quest for spiritual truth. 
Those who remain attribute departures to failure of belief and see them- 
selves as more dedicated. They feel good about their teaching and the 
love that is palpable at Eck gatherings. It is this feeling of joyful com- 
munity that was an important and beautiful part of my experience in 
Eckankar. But this harmony and love come at a high price. The faithful 
live in the dark, unaware of the deception and upheaval. When mem- 
bers of any spiritual path practice the policy of "don't ask, don't tell," 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 22 1 

they jeopardize their spiritual growth by avoiding the truth. And Eck- 
ankar carefully cultivates avoiding the truth. 

Since the publication of Lane's book more than twenty years ago, 
wildfires of doubt and controversy have sprung up in Eckankar com- 
munities. When a community comes across a copy of Lane's book or 
other similar publications on the Internet, it explodes in controversy. I 
have talked to Eckists from many of these areas during my recurrent 
bouts of introspection and have helped them to work through the ques- 
tions and remain committed to Eckankar. 

For this reason, I bear responsibility for not discovering the truth 
earlier. There are many Eckists who respected my commitment to truth 
and remained because they assumed others and I had reviewed Lane's 
book and had found no substantial merit to his allegations. My failure 
to discover and communicate the truth about Eckankar at an earlier 
point is a shortcoming that I address by this book. 

The Death of Paul Twitchell 

Nothing has been easy in the unfolding of Eckankar. Even Paul's 
death in 1971 occurred amid confusion and wonder. Interpreting his 
death as ordained from on high, one of the more respected members of 
Eckankar at that time, claimed that, owing to disobedience to the Vair- 
agi Masters, Paul had been "removed for cause. "^ Given the fictional 
nature of the Vairagi Masters, this explanation for Paul's transition 
from this lifetime may have been wishful thinking or imaginative 
reconstruction by someone ill-disposed to Paul. However, in light of 
later events, it is interesting in at least one respect: Graham's journal 
records an account of a conversation with a representative of the Nine 
Silent Ones who states that Paul's "assisted early exit" occurred 
because of falsities and distortions he had injected into the teaching. 
Paul was not able to fulfill many of the commitments he had made to 
his chelas. First, he had declared that his mission was a five-year one, 
starting in 1965. But in 1970, Paul did not want to give up his position. 
It was necessary for him to develop a plausible scenario to explain con- 
tinuing as the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. After all the stories he 
had already come up with, this was simple. 

Paul used the slow development of the next Living Eck Master to 
justify staying on. The putatively all-knowing one realized this only 


when his term was about to end. Consequently, Paul indicated that he 
would be passed over for the next candidate when the time finally came 
to step down. This change in Paul's story was one of the first public 
clues to Paul's deception and resulted in many Eckists leaving the fold 
at that time. In an attempt to quell the storm, Paul wrote a letter to the 
chelas in 1971, but it had little effect. Finally, Paul's attorney, in a letter 
to the chelas, proclaimed, on Paul's authority, that the next Living Eck 
Master was a child in waiting and would not be ready for another fif- 
teen years. 3 Of course, this was a fabrication, but it gave Paul another 
fifteen years of power. He had no idea in 1965 that his spiritual start-up 
would be so successful. No sense turning over the company to a perfect 
stranger when things were going so well! Unfortunately, Paul's body 
was not up to the wait. Once again, his prognostication was faulty and 
the succession of the Eck Masters did not occur according to plan. For 
anyone counting, that would be the third time in three tries that the 
"succession thing" fell through because no new Mahanta was ready. 

For a master who professed omniscience, omnipotence, and omni- 
presence, Paul was remarkably wrong about every aspect of this pre- 
diction. In fact, he died shortly thereafter, failing to fulfill his prophecy 
of staying in power for many more years. This fact alone raised consid- 
erable questions in the Eck community. But the show had to go on. 
Enter Rebazar Tarzs, who, once again, had to be summoned to rescue 
Eckankar so that the story could continue. While Eckankar searched for 
a fill-in for the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master, the legend of Rebazar 
Tarzs would suffice to fill the void temporarily. ^ These were particu- 
larly challenging times within the Eckankar family. Who would be the 
next Living Eck Master? Who would appoint him? How would he be 

I was not there at the time and only have second-hand accounts of 
what transpired. But it is certain that this transition was extremely diffi- 
cult for Gail. How could she find someone who would carry on the 
story line? What if a successor discovered the truth about Eckankar 's 
founding? How could she continue to play a central role in the religion 
if it was built around a man other than her husband? Even with the cre- 
ativity endemic to Eckankar leadership, there was no scenario that 
could move her into a position of leadership. 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 223 

It is unclear how much Gail knew of Paul's fabrication of Eckan- 
kar. However, Gail knew Paul before he came up with the concept of 
Eckankar and its august Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. Yet, Paul 
appears to have convinced her of his authenticity. This is not surprising 
given his capacity to believe his own fiction. But Gail certainly knew 
that this teaching, whose creation she had witnessed, was far from the 
most ancient on the planet and the source of all other religions. Even 
Paul's charisma and her adoration of him could not have deluded her 
into believing that fantasy. 

Enter Darwin Gross, a handsome single man in whom Paul had 
placed a great deal of trust. His devotion and personal attractiveness 
might fill the needs of the operation. Darwin ascended the mountaintop 
in one gigantic leap. After only two years in Eckankar, he became the 
Living Eck Master. Shortly thereafter, he married Gail. They had 
pulled it off in spite of Paul's failure to fulfill a prerequisite of the 
Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad — to prepare and announce the next Living Eck 
Master. But true to their partnership and the requirements of the 
Shariyat, Gail announced that she had a special dream in which Paul 
named Darwin the next Living Eck Master. Eckankar had produced yet 
another story to fill the gap between fiction and reality. 

Darwin's ascension to the position of Living Eck Master did not go 
unchallenged by many Eckists. There was widespread incredulity that 
a newcomer could become the spiritual leader of the "oldest teaching 
on the planet." As could be expected, many were disillusioned by Dar- 
win's ascendancy and unseemly marriage to Gail. It all seemed to fit 
together too conveniently. The suspicious left and the true believers 
remained. Despite scandal and disillusionment, the personable and 
charismatic Darwin Gross directed Eckankar to tremendous growth. 

The Darwin Gross Years (1971-1981) 

Darwin was prepared for and presented to Eckankar by Gail and 
others, apparently convinced that he was who they said he was. There 
was nothing at the time to suggest to Darwin that Paul's claim of antiq- 
uity for the Vairagi Masters was not true. When the time came for Dar- 
win to become Mahanta, he had nothing to guide him, except what Paul 
had taught and what Gail had reinforced. 


Darwin was, at least initially, an extremely humble, devoted, and 
sincere God-seeker. I came to Eckankar soon after he had become the 
Living Eck Master. Darwin's talks were not particularly inspiring, but 
they were straightforward and shorn of excess emotion. I was struck by 
his music in those days. He once recorded an album of songs that were 
delicate and filled with love. This was a very different Darwin Gross 
from the one that emerged years later imagining himself an accom- 
plished jazz and blues musician. 

I worked with Darwin on a number of projects during those years, 
as a sometime-roadie caring for his xylophones, designer of a series of 
workshops on "The Universal Laws of Life," and member of a training 
team for High Initiate training. Darwin rapidly grew into his position 
and appeared to believe in his new role. He was an engineer, not a 
scholar or writer. His principal strength was his skill with people. He 
was marvelous at walking the aisles during a seminar, allowing the 
faithful to catch a glimpse of the "God-man," who would graciously 
touch those fortunate enough to get close or look him in the eyes in a 
ritual known as "the Darshan."^ All of this was quite effective and 
always inspiring to watch. The belief of the membership in Paul's cre- 
ation was very high. 

The power is always in belief. Like any faith-healing tent on a 
warm summer evening, miracles happen for those whose belief is pow- 
erful enough. When people believe their work is for the highest repre- 
sentative of God on earth, their actions and experiences are filled with 
the force of spirit. This is belief at work. No wonder that spiritual expe- 
riences are common among Eckists, for Paul wove an awe-inspiring 
fiction that "programmed" their experiences. 

Given Darwin's effectiveness in his role, one might well ask, 
what's the harm? If it works, why not just use it and stick with it? But 
there is only one problem with this. It is a problem that Darwin ulti- 
mately encountered and that Eckankar, by this book, will now encoun- 
ter. The problem is truth. Truth has a funny way of rearing its head at 
inconvenient times. It often appears when the forces of suppression feel 
that they have won a permanent victory. But victory in suppressing the 
truth is never final. It is always temporary and ultimately unsuccessful. 
And when the truth is finally revealed, dislocation occurs that, while 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 225 

initially painful, always results in spiritual growth. What is lost is the 
effort and energy expended in a direction that must be reversed. This is 
the prerequisite to moving ahead on the path to God-Realization. 

After a few years, Darwin's focus changed. He pursued worldly 
ambitions more intently than his spiritual mission. The inappropriate- 
ness of many of his actions became evident. It undermined his accom- 
plishments and eventually got him banned from the teaching that he, as 
much as anyone, built into a sizable movement. Darwin was not pre- 
pared to live up to the high standards of the Living Eck Master. He 
spoke, often quite convincingly, about the standards of truth and the 
behavior articulated in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad. Indeed, he even wrote: 

The leaders of ECKANKAR have the eyes and ears of the world upon 
them at all times and they should have the highest ethics and morals 
known to man and if they don't, they aren't really and truly ECKists.'^ 

But Darwin soon abandoned this position for a more flexible one 
that allowed him peccadilloes and eccentricities. He justified it by 
thoughts put forth by Paul in The Spiritual Notebook. 

The Living ECK Master stands alone; he is a law unto himself He does 
as he pleases, has what he wants, comes and goes absolutely at his own 
will, and asks no favor of any man. Neither does anyone hinder him in 
the execution of his will, for he has all things at his own command. . . . 
He does not work by time, nor is he bound by any rule or custom outside 
of himself^ 

It is not difficult to see how an individual with a predilection for the 
jazz life and celebrity, who just happened to be the Mahanta, might get 
carried away with the personal freedom that this standard would per- 
mit. Darwin was, apparently, quite prepared to follow this more liberal 
standard and even to stretch it if needed. 

Darwin argued vociferously for his personal freedom in spite of his 
high spiritual responsibilities. In the preface to one of Paul's books, 
Darwin, after asserting that Eck Masters have a greater knowledge of 
spirit than "the average man can conceive," went on to say: 

[I]t isn't stated in the teachings of ECK [actually it is!], nor am I saying 
that the Living ECK Master is unfolded spiritually greater than the next 
man. For on the outer it wouldn't show, due to the fact that what one 
does and what one says does [sic] not necessarily mean that one should 
judge one's spiritual unfoldment.*^ 


In this somewhat obtuse passage, Darwin tried to create space for him- 
self by telling followers that his high state of spirituality should not be 
judged by what he did or by what was seen in the outer man. Darwin's 
view of spirituality and how it manifested in his life was a necessary 
construct for him to believe that he was still the Mahanta, "God made 
flesh," and the "Son of God." How else could he reconcile an incongru- 
ous pattern of indulgences that left his followers wondering about their 
master? Darwin seized upon Paul's proclamation that a master answers 
to no one and does what he pleases. If reports of his drinking and wom- 
anizing are true, then he was in grave need of a cover. That is undoubt- 
edly why he grasped at straws to reconcile his behavior with the high 
moral and ethical principles for which Eckankar stood. 

Before Darwin's behavior reached its acme, he and Gail divorced. 
This was closely followed by her shocking disavowal of Eckankar. Gail 
was quoted in two separate reports acknowledging that Eckankar was a 
fraud, that Paul had simply created it. Both reports have been in book 
and Internet form for many years, without, to my knowledge, Gail ever 
repudiating them. After selling her rights to Paul's writings to Eckankar 
for $500,000, she has had nothing to do with the teachings since then. 

The first account of Gail's repudiation of Eckankar comes from one 
of her acquaintances, who heard a taped account of Gail's conversation 
with a friend who had doubts about Eckankar 's legitimacy. 

I was in his [Charlie Wallace's] kitchen when he telephoned Gail about 
1981 or 1982. At the time he had a ranch in California. He and Gail had 
been friends in the past. Charlie was one of the few guests invited to she 
[sic] and Darwin's wedding in Sedona. I taped the conversation. . . . Gail 
was helping her friend Charlie, to come to terms with Eckankar. She 
told him Paul made up the whole Eckankar thing. I was there during the 
telephone conversation . . . find Charlie and ask for the tape and hear it 

David Lane, when speaking about the legitimacy of Eckankar, writes: 
"How can this be possible when Twitchell's own wife (and, I would 
suggest, co-founder), Gail, has privately admitted that Eckankar is a 
'fraud. '"10 

After divorcing Gail, Darwin remarried but quickly had his new 
marriage annulled. From that point, allegations of drinking and wom- 
anizing grew." His path to excommunication was paved with fun and 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 227 

excitement. He enjoyed traveling with his band, playing the xylophone, 
singing, and spreading the message of Eckankar. Darwin even pur- 
chased a private executive jet (with Eckankar money) to fit his new 
image of a high-flying jazz and blues man. This was an extremely sen- 
sitive topic in Eckankar and a closely guarded secret. To accomplish 
this, Darwin set up an Oregon company, Dharma Aircraft, to purchase 
and own the plane, a legal device to avoid California sales taxes. ^^ This 
ploy got Eckankar embroiled in a tax investigation by the State of Cali- 
fornia. ^^ (I once toured the plane during a stopover in Washington, 
D.C. when Darwin was speaking and performing at an Eckankar semi- 
nar. It was quite impressive!) 

Darwin was also having a number of physical problems that inter- 
fered with his duties as the Living Eck Master. For this reason as much 
as any, Darwin sensed that the timing was right to step down and turn 
over some of the travel and spiritual duties to someone else. He had 
become a businessman by then and took great pride in his ability to 
wheel and deal. Darwin's plan was to take over the business operations 
of Eckankar and leave the travel and other spiritual duties to a succes- 

Harold Klemp Becomes the Living Eck Master 

Harold's dizzying ascension from proofreader to Living Eck Mas- 
ter constitutes another intriguing story in the line of the three Eckankar 
masters. In 1981, the transfer of the Rod of Eck Power took place as 
Harold Klemp became the 973 (more accurately, the third) Living 
Eck Master. Harold was not named the Mahanta at that time as it was 
Darwin's intention to retain the Mahanta portion of the title. Then too, 
Paul had messed this up with a story line that a Mahanta would not fol- 
low him for quite some time.^^ Both Darwin and eventually Harold dis- 
agreed with this and came up with their own story lines to demonstrate 
that they were "the real deal." 

Darwin thought that, though he had relinquished the role of Living 
Eck Master, he would retain control of the organization and continue 
wearing the mantle of Mahanta. Harold, he judged, had good writing 
skills but was meek and malleable. Based on my conversations with 
Darwin, he, essentially, saw Harold as a "wimp." It is probably for this 


reason, not an inner spiritual revelation or a mission to carry out the 
will of God, that Darwin selected him as the next Living Eck Master. 

Harold Klemp and God-Realization 

Harold presents his God-Realization experience in his Child in the 
Wilderness. It is worth looking at here. Remembering an encounter 
with a stranger who operated a drawbridge in the town in which he 
worked, Harold told of a rebuke he received from this stranger, who 
spoke with the wisdom of a spiritual master. This set the stage for his 
God-Realization experience: 

God-Realization may span from a profoundly beautiful experience to 
the ruthless tearing away of one's final illusions. ^^ 

His own such experience started with a series of entreaties from a 
bartender, who, unaware that he was being used as a spiritual channel, 
told his future: 

[BJefore the night was out I would face a challenge so dreadful that 
nothing in my past could compare with it. No matter what was said for 
me to do, it must be done instantly, with complete faith in the Mahanta. 
Further, I would ride in an ambulance before the sun rose in the morn- 
ing. "Go to another town," he warned. "Don't let them take you to our 
hospital. An engine will be switching freight cars and block the tracks. 
Just when you'll need help fast.''^^ 

Shaken by the warning, Harold again ventured to the bridge and the 
shack of the strange man, which seemed to him to be a "way station on 
the road to God.''^^ Freezing but enlivened by the stranger's words, he 
remained for a period until challenged to "meet yourself. "^^ Accepting 
the challenge, Harold describes what followed: 

The stranger broke in on my thoughts. "Look there!" he said. "The Light 
of God!" From out of the night, as if from a distant lighthouse, came a 
searing bolt of blue-white light that pierced my heart. He smiled. "The 
Light of God; It shines for thee."^^ 

Harold's adventure on the bridge that night was the foundational 
experience from which he claimed God-Realization and mastership. 
Whether or not it occurred, only Harold knows, but many have ques- 
tioned the validity of this experience. Perhaps most problematic is the 
utter earthliness of the encounter, where the ocean of love and mercy 
was supposedly brought to earth on a bridge. This is in sharp contrast to 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 229 

the almost uniform experience of others, who were required to raise 
their vibration to transcend the physical and experience the inner reali- 
ties of God. 

Harold's adventure in God-Realization, and his claim to master- 
ship, are further compromised by his conception of what it meant to 
serve God: 

My vision of what it meant to serve God was like that of many others: 
wander at will, shun responsibility, and appear saintly. 2° 

But a spiritual master does not live a vagabond life, shirk obligations, 
and "appear" spiritually advanced — he is spiritually advanced. 
Harold's story describes an individual not in control of himself, desper- 
ately searching for a connection with God reality. 

Let us return to his narrative. The wise stranger suddenly and inex- 
plicably changed into an indignant bridge tender, who exclaimed, in a 
decidedly unspiritual manner, "What's a matter with you. . . . You some 
kinda jerk? Get away!"^! Harold's own account almost concedes he 
was unbalanced. He was grasping at straws to regain some sense of 
himself and to find the meaning of the frightening experience: 

Contradictions boiled within me: I was joyous, yet pathetic; light, but 
melancholy; free, yet not free.^^ 

The overwhelming experience on the bridge had left me in a state of 
imbalance, but not completely robbed of my senses. ^3 

What followed challenges Harold's assertion of not being robbed 
of his senses. Interpreting an earlier discussion with the stranger about 
the Mountain of Yama (Mountain of the King of Death), Harold some- 
how divined that he should jump into the river in order to confront his 
fear of death. In a more reflective and perhaps more balanced moment, 
Harold wrote: 

It is easy to say, A [sic] clear-cut case of delusion; or madness, brought 
on by too much stress. That is an easy way out. Before this experience 
was over, I would realize firsthand why some people commit suicide: to 
please a tyrannical God.^^ 

Harold's God-Realization experience and attendant imbalance 
raise reasonable questions about his sanity and hence the experience's 
validity. Certainly, a delusional state is one in which there is the possi- 


bility, if not the probability, of experiencing other dimensions of reality. 
Without the grounding of knowing where one is and how properly to 
interpret what is happening, one is apt to be a pawn of some astral 
entity. Whatever the true nature of Harold's experience, it certainly had 
a transcendent impact on him, but one for which he was to pay a heavy 
karmic price. 

Having made the plunge, Harold was surprised that the stranger he 
had counted on to throw him a lifeline was nowhere around. He had to 
save himself. Finding a cable anchoring a light pole, he pulled himself 
to shore. Saved from himself, he made his way home where he pon- 
dered what he believed was God-Realization. Concerned with pneumo- 
nia, he called an ambulance and soon was in the care of professionals, 
who assessed his condition and, from his perspective, saved him from 
Yama, the Angel of Death. In a fevered and delirious state, he insisted 
on going to a hospital in a neighboring town, in accordance with the 
bartender's instructions. Shivering from his exposure to the frigid 
waters, Harold recovered. In time, the doctors pronounced him fit to 
return home. 

Harold's encounter with the light and sound and claim to God- 
Realization are among the most bizarre encounters I have come across 
in all my readings on experiences of God-Realization. But this does not 
necessarily invalidate it. No one can say exactly what the experience is, 
and no one can offer any proof of experiencing it. It is always a claim 
made by one who believes, or at least professes to believe, he has had 
the God-Realization experience. 

Harold's adventures did not end here, for his continued unbalanced 
actions ultimately put him in a mental institution. The next part of his 
story is equally bizarre, but perhaps recognizable to those who have felt 
the deep longing in their hearts to serve God in any manner directed. 
The Biblical account of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son, if 
that was God's will, is an example. The willingness to abide the inner 
direction of God, in spite of its outer absurdity, is a common element in 
those who reach total surrender. But this desire for service and sacrifice 
can be taken to extremes. The individual can lose all perspective as 
well as that most vital of tools, common sense. This might be amply 
demonstrated in Harold's continuing saga. While all of the evidence 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 23 1 

was to the contrary, he was not cognizant of his state of imbalance at 
the time: "[I]t really never dawned on me that I was very out of balance 
at that moment. "2^^ 

Divining that he must immediately go to Paul to assist in his work, 
Harold took a cab to the airport. He startled the driver when he thrust a 
wad of cash to cover a minimal fare, making the cabbie suspect that the 
passenger was a little touched. Continuing his mission, he moved 
deeper into a state of imbalance — a "catatonic state. "^^ What followed 
can best be conveyed in Harold's own words. Following several inner 
nudges to make certain pronouncements to others in the airport, he 
caused the crowds to scatter for fear that a madman might be in their 
midst. Harold probably left them with little doubt: 

Waiting for the next flight to board, I pondered what else I might do to 
achieve complete surrender. Then the thought came to disrobe. Sick at 
heart, I nonetheless got up to follow out the latest instructions. As I 
removed my coat and tie and began to unbutton my shirt, a big man 
barked, "Hey, Mac, you can't do that! Call the cops."^^ 

Pondering his situation from the local jail, Harold knew he had to 
get his balance back. Whatever he concluded, the authorities commit- 
ted him to a hospital for an indefinite stay, where he underwent a psy- 
chological examination. Harold somehow emerged from his stay with a 
sense of his own mastership. Prepared or not, he would, in a rather 
short time, assume the position of Living Eck Master. This strange 
story leads us to his encounters with his predecessor, Darwin Gross. 

Darwin Retakes Control 

During his first years as the Living Eck Master, Harold dutifully 
carried out the tasks to which he and Darwin had agreed. As President, 
he handled the spiritual duties of the Living Eck Master while Darwin 
looked after the business side of Eckankar. Darwin was eventually suc- 
cessful in talking Harold into relinquishing the presidency to him and 
focusing his attention exclusively on the spiritual side.^s Problems 
were not long in coming. In early 1983, Harold saw indications that 
Darwin was no longer giving him full support. ^^ Darwin's disregard 
and disrespect for Harold grew until the Living Eck Master carried lit- 
tle weight. Harold had no idea what was going on within the organiza- 
tion, as Darwin ran Eckankar as his own fiefdom. The Board of 


Trustees was nothing more than a rubber stamp;3° the staff did what- 
ever Darwin directed. ^i There was only one king in the castle at that 
time, and it was not the Living Eck Master. It was Darwin. 

Mundane matters brought things to a head. Preferring to work at 
home, Harold requested a computer from the office, and the managers 
naturally complied. Darwin got wind of it, hit the ceiling, and ordered a 
stop. His predecessor had refused the Living Eck Master a computer! 
This resulted in enormous consternation and upheaval at the Eckankar 
International Office. ^^ Darwin began to tell staff to keep all business 
information from Harold. ^3 Harold learned of instances of Darwin 
speaking disparagingly of him in staff meetings, showing little 
respect,34 and belittling his positions. ^^ 

Another sore spot was the disparity in salaries between the Living 
Eck Master, who was then earning about $19,200 yearly,^^ and Darwin, 
who pulled in $65,000.3^ To Harold's credit, he was frugal and respon- 
sible with Eckankar money. Darwin's attitude was quite the opposite. 
He viewed Eckankar as his personal business. He built it up and was 
responsible for its flush coffers. He acted on his own, spending what- 
ever he wanted, whenever he chose, without the consent or knowledge 
of anyone, except the staff who signed whatever he directed them to 
sign. 38 

The Break 

The break between Harold and Darwin was not long in coming. It 
was discovered that Darwin had transferred large sums of money to 
Dharma Aircraft, the company that had owned his private jet. Inas- 
much as the transfer involved a considerable sum, concern was under- 
standable, and naturally litigation ensued. Legal documents in the case 
between Gross and Eckankar reveal: 

In June and July 1983, plaintiff [Darwin Gross] transferred more than 
$2,600,000 to a dormant Oregon corporation [Dharma Aircraft, later 
renamed Glen Eden Ltd.].... Gross, who was a trustee of the Oregon 
Corporation, then obtained the resignation of the other two trustees 
without telling them of the fund transfers, and replaced them with two 
of his own followers. Thus, these funds were placed outside the control 
of defendant's [Eckankar's] Board. 3^ 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 233 

Darwin had also announced to the staff (July 1983) that up to 
twenty-one members of the Eckankar staff would accompany him to 
Oregon, where he would undertake projects he claimed would promote 
Eckankar. 4o 

Taking such actions, without Harold's knowledge or approval (or 
that of the Board), prompted Harold to take action to wrest control of 
the organization from Darwin. This was achieved during a Board of 
Trustees meeting held August 7, 1983 in Menlo Park, California, with- 
out the presence of Darwin or the Eckankar attorney, Alan Nichols. The 
Board, by resolution, agreed: 

WHEREAS, it is in the best interests of Eckankar to make certain 
changes regarding officers of the corporation, it is hereby: 

RESOLVED: That Darwin Gross is hereby removed as President of 
Eckankar and his services as an officer and employee of Eckankar are 
hereby terminated, both such removal and termination being effective 
immediately; and 

RESOLVED FURTHER: That Harold Klemp is hereby appointed as 
President of Eckankar, effective immediately, to serve the unexpired 
portion of the current term of President. . . .^^ 

The minutes reveal a tense proceeding with many strange side notes. It 
was later revealed that there was little discussion and consideration of 
the reasons for ousting Darwin. In response to a series of questions 
from Darwin's attorney, who sought to understand why his client was 
ousted, the new Chairman of the Board, Peter Skelsky, answered: 

Mr. Axelrod, the only reason I voted for removing Darwin Gross was 
because the Living ECK Master said it's time to terminate him. He's the 
leader of our religion. ^^ 

Another interesting development in the August 7 meeting was the 
appointment, by resolution, of Patricia Simpson Rivinus,^^ p^ul 
Twitchell's secretary, as the new Secretary of Eckankar. Only one day 
later, she was, by resolution, summarily removed from this position 
and told that 

. . . her services as an officer are hereby terminated, both such removal 
and termination being effective immediately. . . . 


Joan Cross (later Harold's wife) was 

. . . appointed as Secretary of Eckankar, effective immediately, to serve 
the unexpired portion of the current term of Secretary. ^4 

The reasons for this sudden shift are not apparent from the minutes. 
However, we now know the conflict that caused it. Darwin's supporters 
and sympathizers were removed from positions of authority. The coup 
was complete. It had taken Harold more than two years of being kicked 
around to reach the point of deciding to assert himself. It took some 
coaxing from the Eckankar Spiritual Council,^^ ^^t j^g finally realized 
that he had to use his power or lose it. Harold demonstrated that he was 
much tougher and more cunning than Darwin had imagined. He proved 
not to be a wimp at all. 

A short time before this meeting, Darwin backed a truck up to the 
Eckankar office and removed papers, books, and the entire collection 
of Paul's unpublished works and personal effects then in Eckankar's 
possession. This was the material that Gail Twitchell Gross sold to 
Eckankar, releasing all of her rights. "^^^ The sales contract had named 
Darwin as custodian and protector, which gave him some claim to the 
documents, even though Eckankar paid for them. The Board took 
immediate legal action to secure their return. ^^ The materials were spir- 
ited to Oregon, but a court order resulted in their eventual return to 

I was present in Menlo Park during this sad episode. (The minutes 
of the meeting held on August 9, 1983 reveal that the managers "as 
well as visitor Ford Johnson" were present. ^s) I had been working very 
closely with the International Office during the time, running seminars 
and planning High Initiate training. We were informed about what had 
transpired with Darwin and the efforts of the Board to recover proper- 
ties and money that belonged to Eckankar.^^ 

Following the meeting, I spoke with Harold and asked why he and 
Darwin hadn't worked things out without lawsuits and threats. Cer- 
tainly two learned masters could come to an agreement on how to serve 
God. I expressed concern that the dispute was tearing the organization 
apart. Many chelas were being pulled into camps, depending on their 
personal allegiances. When I asked Harold about the possibility of a 
split in Eckankar, he replied that he understood my concern and was 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 235 

prepared for the possibility. He even thought that if Darwin started a 
new movement, it would likely contain a higher truth than most of the 
other teachings available. ^° Harold had set his course, locked his rud- 
der, and was determined to see it through. His words were a great reve- 
lation to me. I developed a deeper insight into Harold as a person and 
saw his inner resolve and strength. But I also saw the beginnings of his 
willingness to wield organizational power, a characteristic that dis- 
played itself in unpleasant ways in ensuing months and years. I found 
the whole mess quite disturbing. 

Even though I was present at that meeting, I knew little of the 
details of the power struggle. Those who worked at the headquarters 
knew far more, but they adopted a protective silence. The staff was far 
more professional about the matter than the two masters. I later learned 
that staff members had made efforts to get the two masters to iron 
things out, but with no success. Harold told me he simply did not trust 
Darwin anymore. Darwin apparently broke several agreements they 
had made in the past, and things had gone too far to be resolved. 

Two individuals, one a former Living Eck Master, the other the cur- 
rent Living Eck Master, were fighting and shockingly unable to resolve 
their power struggle. It was unfathomable, and clear evidence to many 
who worked daily with both of them, that something was wrong. Many 
concluded that men who bickered like children could not be spiritual 
masters and chose to walk away from Eckankar. But my eyes were not 
yet open. 

Darwin Gross vs. Eckankar 

Prior to the litigation, I met with Darwin in Oregon. My purpose 
was to plead for reconciliation between the two, both of whom I still 
regarded as spiritual masters, in spite of growing evidence of their true 
nature. I explained to Darwin that his disrespect for Harold was under- 
mining the very notion of the Living Eck Master and the authority he 
possessed. I asked why he did not show the respect appropriate to the 
Living Eck Master, the head of the Vairagi Order. I encouraged him to 
voluntarily return the materials to Eckankar and to write a letter to the 
Living Eck Master showing deference and acting in a manner befitting 
the status of a predecessor. 


Darwin was not entirely receptive, but he did listen. Clearly more 
concerned with himself than with spiritual matters, he replied, "What 
do they want me to do, beg in the streets? How am I to support 
myself?" This shocked me. From my naive perspective, I asked why he 
didn't just trust in spirit, as he had taught us, and simply manifest what- 
ever he needed from spirit. He looked at me as if I was joking, and the 
conversation ended. The next morning, a group of fellow Eckists and I 
had breakfast with Darwin, where the topic of an apology came up 
again. This time, he spewed out several profanities and stormed out of 
the restaurant. That was my last contact with Darwin. After that, I was 
off for a speaking engagement in Africa. 

Upon my return, I received a letter from Eckankar ordering me to 
stand down from all outer activities. This was the first of the major dis- 
ciplines that I was to receive. Harold feared Darwin and his followers. 
He couldn't be sure of my loyalties, since I had direct contact with Dar- 
win and might have fallen under his influence. By this time, Darwin 
had become, in Eckankar 's eyes, a channel for the Kal — the negative 
force. How quickly masters fall! 

Darwin eventually returned the money and all of Paul's materials to 
the care and custody of Eckankar — probably not because of my 
entreaties, but more likely because of legal action that Eckankar had 
initiated. Darwin was in a difficult position. He was eventually shut off 
from a pension or any other support from the organization he had built. 
Darwin eventually sued Eckankar for breach of contract. What fol- 
lowed was perhaps the most sordid period in all of Eckankar 's history. 

I remember talking to Harold while attending an Eckankar Seminar 
some time after Darwin's firing (I was out of the doghouse by then), but 
before the legal battle between Darwin and Eckankar erupted. Harold 
described a litany of Darwin's execrable behavior. Harold even feared 
for his safety, a fact that explained and continues to explain the intense 
security whenever he appears around Eckists. Suffice it to say that if 
these statements were true — and given what we now know, not every- 
thing can be taken at face value — I can understand why Darwin was 

But remember, Darwin maintained that his spirituality should not 
be judged by his actions. Darwin insisted that there was no connection 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 237 

between the morality of one's behavior and spiritual unfolding. He 
even said as much in court! Here is Darwin's testimony in a deposition 
taken during the trial between Eckankar and him in 1984. In response 
to a question clarifying Harold's statements on moral behavior and 
spiritual development, he responded: 

A: I stated one cannot judge one's morals, or that one's morals have 
nothing to do with spiritual unfoldment, that is my understanding of 
the teachings of Eckankar — or Eck, rather. 

Q: [A]s I understand what you've said, a principle of Eckankar is 

that.... morals have nothing to do with spiritual unfoldment? 
A: That's the way I've been taught.^ ^ 

On reflection, the most remarkable aspect of this entire drama was 
how so many in Eckankar completely missed the point. From quest for 
truth and desire to achieve God-Realization and become a co-worker 
with God, the membership had been distracted by personalities and 
organizational infighting. They had shifted their attention from spiri- 
tual goals to two men embroiled in a sordid, juvenile clash of wills. It is 
clear that Darwin bears the brunt of responsibility for this episode, but 
it is also clear that Harold and the Board of Trustees could have demon- 
strated more magnanimity, rather than the hardball tactics they 

Everyone was wrapped up with concern for the fate of the masters 
and the schism that their disagreement had created. Eckists took sides 
and lost sight of the reasons they entered the teaching in the first place. 
The entire episode and the inability of these supposedly God-Realized 
beings to reach an agreement offered compelling evidence that the 
emperors had no clothes. 

Darwin and Harold each made valiant efforts in their depositions to 
cover up the more unseemly parts of their dispute. They evoked reli- 
gious protections, like the priest-penitent privilege, when they did not 
want to divulge the content of a conversation. They summoned the 
"spiritual secret" rationale when they could not describe the high spiri- 
tual nature of a decision or action. Harold even dug up the venerable 
concept of "heresy" to justify Darwin's expulsion. As I read through 
the depositions, I got a taste for what it must have been like for the 
Catholic Church after Martin Luther posted his famous theses, though 


the juvenility of both Darwin and Harold made the taste rather unpleas- 
ant. The whole thing was a farce. 

The absurdity is seen in further testimony from Darwin taken from 
the same deposition cited above. 

Q: And that role [the Living ECK Master] was entrusted to you by God, 

wasn't it? 
A: Negative. Paul Twitchell. 

Q: Did Paul Twitchell make you the living Eck Master or did God make 
you the Living ECK master? 

A: Paul Twitchell did. God doesn't choose the Living ECK Master. 

Q: Who does? 

A: Paul chose me and I chose Harold. 

Q: Harold? 
A: Yes, sir. 

Harold strongly disagreed with Darwin on this subject, declaring a far 
more divine and sublime process for his selection than the mere choice 
of Darwin Gross: 

The Living ECK Master is chosen by God. His selection to this position 
is evidenced by receipt of the "Rod of ECK Power," the spiritual symbol 
of his authority. ^2 

While Harold's version is far more impressive and more in keeping 
with Paul's propaganda, Harold was simply following the tradition of 
his predecessors and supplying an explanation that fit the need. Even 
here, the Eck Masters could not agree on the same story line. In another 
exchange, attorneys for Eckankar asked Darwin: 

Q: Who is the Living Eck Master today? 
A: I cannot say. 

Q: Why not? 

A: That's left up to the individual to find that out for themselves [sic]. 

Q: Is that part of the teachings of Eckankar? 
A: Sure it is. Yes. . . . 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 239 

Q: You've said many times, have you not, that Harold Klemp is the 
Living Eck Master? 

A: Yes. 

Q: Then when I ask you the question today, who is the Living ECK 
Master, why isn't your answer the same as it has been many times in 
the past, Harold Klemp? 

A: To the best of my knowledge, it changed in January of this year. 

Q: In January of 1983, the living ECK Master changed, is that correct, 

is that... [what] you just said? 
A: January of this year. 

Q: Did Harold Klemp pass the Rod of Power to someone? 
A: He was asked to step aside. 

Q: Who asked him? 

A: Rebazar Tarzs and Yaubl Sacabi. 

This testimony was taken on May 31, 1984. Five months earlier, 
Harold had issued an open letter to Darwin and the Eckankar member- 

Dear Darwin: 

The Order of the Vairagi ECK Masters no longer recognizes you as an 
ECK Master. As the agent of the ECK, I have removed all of your initi- 
ations in ECK as well as terminated your membership in Eckankar. You 
are not capable or authorized to act or speak for or about the Vairagi 
ECK Masters, Eckankar or the ECK teachings, nor are you to hold your- 
self out as an ECK Master or ECK member.^^ 

In February 1984, Darwin Gross responded with a letter to the mem- 
bership that paralleled the testimony he was to give at his deposition: 

Dear One: 

Many individuals who are spiritually awake are concerned about the 
misguided information coming out of Menlo Park. The Vairagi Masters 
do recognize me as a Vairagi Master. My initiations cannot be removed 
by Harold or anyone else. Harold Klemp does not have that authority. 
He was given a spiritual responsibility, which he has lost. He no longer 
holds the Rod of Eck Power. . . . 

These excerpts [sic] from letters come from Eckists around the world: 
Very quietly, this was what was spoken from the Eck. "Harold has been 


removed." I asked by whom? "Yaubl Sacabi." Who is the replacement, I 
asked? "Darwin Gross. "^^ 

What an extraordinary turn of events! Harold had apparently 
beaten Darwin to the special branch of the astral library, where story 
lines are kept. Here we have two spurious masters, each claiming the 
other to be bogus, using a fictional group of masters as proof. The irony 
is that each master maintained an unspoken agreement that, however 
else he hurt the other, he would hold true to the myth that both were 
masters. Neither of them wanted to destroy the fiction by telling the 
truth that each was an imposter. Oddly, each of them had probably con- 
vinced himself that he was what Paul had made him out to be. Neither 
knew the full extent of the deception of the man who had started them 
down this bumpy, gully-filled road. 

We might return to Paul's dictum, this time with the acknowledge- 
ment of a small measure of prophecy: 

Refuse to see Truth, pretend that it is impossible to know what is true 
and what is not, distort Truth, seek to mix it with Untruth, attempt to 
deceive both ourselves and others, give Truth in an unattractive manner, 
then chaos will reign in our lives. '^'^ 

The chaos that resulted would be hilarious if it were not so pathetic. 
Thousands of Eckists didn't know what to think. They believed in the 
Vairagi Masters, the Mahanta, and the Rod of Eck Power. Many stayed 
with Darwin, but the bulk of the membership, enthralled by the Rod of 
Eck Power, stayed with Harold and Eckankar. But such is the fate of 
those who believe and follow a lie, as at that time did I. All are destined 
to wander in the abyss until truth finally lights the way out. 

But the drama was not over. Darwin launched his lawsuit, which 
resulted in reams of depositions, but more importantly in the opening to 
the public of Eckankar 's records. ^s Some of the information reveals 
more of what was behind Darwin's ouster. Harold and his attorneys 
argued that Darwin was a "renegade master" who engaged in spiritual 

Plaintiff, a former Living Eck Master, has embarked on the path of her- 
esy. For example, he claims that Mr. Klemp is no longer the spiritual 
head of Eckankar . . . that one's moral behavior is irrelevant to one's 
spiritual development . . . and he is promoting his own initiation scheme 
which is radically different than that of Eckankar. '^^ 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 24 1 

The chaos continued for quite some time. Harold wrote an article 
describing the ways of black magicians, implying that Darwin was 
practicing their craft. He recommended burning all pictures, books, and 
paraphernalia of the dethroned one.'^^ Darwin made similar implica- 
tions about Harold in his edited version of Letters to Gail 3. Specifi- 
cally, Darwin alleged that Harold had inserted descriptions of black 
magic techniques that could be used by anyone wishing to invoke dark 
powers. Having retained a copy of Paul's original manuscript of this 
book, Darwin felt able to support this allegation. 

This resulted in another lawsuit brought by Eckankar against Dar- 
win to recover the Letters to Gail 3 manuscript, which belonged to 
Eckankar. Eckankar survived the legal entanglements and Darwin 
Gross's name was banned from all Eckankar books, discussions, and 
materials. Eckists coming into the teaching after 1986 had little or no 
knowledge that Darwin had ever been a master. I had problems with 
Eckankar 's denial of the past: it was a cover-up conducted with the 
complicity of every Eckist that participated in the denial of the real his- 
tory of Eckankar. It was disingenuous to say the least. Darwin Gross, 
whatever his faults, was a major figure in Eckankar, and history should 
not be rewritten for organizational expediency. The truth still counts! 

There are other incidents in this period in the history of Eckankar. 
However, enough has been revealed to provide a sense of how Paul's 
deceptions continued at the highest levels of the organization. Eckan- 
kar found itself having to continuously reinvent its story line. It illus- 
trates the fate of those who continue to build a house on a faulty 
foundation. In the end, it cannot stand. TheTruth-Seeker web site^^ 
houses documents from courts and other sources about Eckankar's past 
and inner workings. If more is needed to confirm the incredible events 
of this period, then this is the source. 

The Harold Klemp Era 

With Darwin out, Harold began to discover what he had inherited 
and what needed to be done. Several years went by during which little 
changed in Eckankar's outer teaching. Harold was obviously digesting 
the facts about the organization that Darwin and Paul had left him. I am 
sure that Harold was stunned. The greatest shock must have been see- 
ing the private Paul Twitchell reflected in the copious records that he 


maintained of his activities. Paul had planned well for the fame that he 
hoped would be his. At some point in his life, he obviously decided to 
speed things up and continued his usual pattern of fabrication with 
greater intensity. 

As indicated earlier, Harold attempted to reveal the truth about Paul 
and to debunk the myths and fiction he had created. His famous "Death 
of an Ideal" writing indicated an intent to step from behind the lie and 
go with truth. I believe that this was his original intent. He faced a nar- 
row tightrope, and he made an impressive effort to walk it. But in the 
end, he found it impossible. His ambivalence is evinced in the vacilla- 
tion of his writings. As we have seen, he declared that the Living Eck 
Master is not God and that one should not become attached to the vehi- 
cle, or personality, of the Mahanta. But later, Harold made a complete 

The Mahanta, the Living ECK Master [Harold Klemp] is SUGMAD 
[God] on earth and has unlimited power to carry out the will of the 
Supreme One in all ITS countless worlds. This is a vain boast to the ears 
of the profane, nevertheless the ECK initiate learns the truth for himself 
during the daily spiritual exercises. '^° 

Harold was not only perpetuating the fiction that Paul had initially 
created, he was now adding to it. In addition to his offerings on the 
astral library, Harold added: 

The ECK Masters hold meetings in a number of different locations. 
Although their home on the Soul Plane is known to be Honardi, the 
immense order of Vairagi Masters is apt to send specialists from among 
them to gatherings on the order of business seminars. One such location 
is the spiritual site of Bcero Corsa, a meeting place hidden in a remote 
part of the southeastern United States. The approaches to it are protected 
by thousands of vipers that infest the swamplands. No intruder is wel- 
come, nor is the secret path to it ever revealed to an outsider. "^^ 

Harold embraced the mythology of Eckankar, in effect saying, "If you 
can't gracefully quit it, you might as well join it." Harold has recently 
launched an effort to extend the teaching to every part of the world. His 
new book. Wisdom From the Master on Spiritual Leadership: ECK 
Leaders Guide, outlines the methods by which he intends to spread the 
message of Eckankar: 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 243 

My overall mission is to tell people everywhere about the Light and 
Sound of God.... [T]he ECK arranged the task in three major steps. First 
on the agenda was to set up the RESA (Regional ECK Spiritual Aide) 
structure.... After the RESA structure was up and running in your home 
communities, it was time for step two... we saw the Temple of ECK 
manifest upon the rolling hills of Minnesota.... Now comes the really 
big step.... This third stage is one big project. It is an open-ended plan, 
without a limit to the initiative and spiritual growth that can occur 
among both Eckists and the people of the earth. "^^ 

These are certainly noble goals. When I first read this book in late 
2001, 1 was excited by the challenge. But it is now clear that imparting 
the knowledge and techniques of contacting the light and sound of God 
is not the only goal. Harold also has the insidious mission of luring 
more souls into this trap. He has embarked on another major fund-rais- 
ing effort, this one urging Eckists to make Eckankar a beneficiary in 
their wills and insurance policies. These efforts seek to ensure that the 
teaching goes on and continues to gather-up the unwary. Eckists must 
now determine whether supporting and proselytizing Eckankar will 
advance the spirituality of mankind or simply further Eckankar 's orga- 
nizational interests. Today, there is a massive building program at the 
Temple of Eck site, where the resources of Eckists pay for more monu- 
ments to Paul Twitchell, Harold Klemp, and Eckankar. 

The Future of Eckankar and Its Membership 

It is a wonder that Eckankar has survived all its scandals and 
abuses. While growth has slowed over the years, core membership has 
remained steady. In the past, the true believers in Eckankar regarded 
each exposure as a test of their faith from which they emerged victori- 
ous. As one who survived many of these tests by ignoring the truth, the 
victory was, in retrospect, simply an exercise in self-deception. 

There are many Eckankar employees who, because their jobs are 
tied to the organization, may feel trapped. Others might be too embar- 
rassed to admit they were deceived. Still others may not want to 
acknowledge that the teaching is only an interesting diversion, not a 
direct path to God. Then there is also fear of the loss of friends and the 
sense of community that participation in the teaching provides. 

There are always reasons people remain trapped in a religion, a 
relationship, or anything else. But spiritual growth is the fruit of engag- 


ing truth and following its course, wherever it leads. Truth is our only 
and infallible guide to higher consciousness and God-Realization. 
Those who fail this test forget this principle of spiritual growth. They 
may doubt their capacity to see and know truth. But within our inner 
recesses lies a capacity to know truth. Some call it a gut-feeling; others 
call it going with the inner flow; still others refer to it as that still small 
voice within — conscience. Whatever name it is called, it is the inner 
call of soul directing us to act in our spiritual interest. Those who are 
deaf to this inner direction have deferred their dedication to truth for an 
allegiance to a religion and its leadership. The two are not the same. 
But the true believer confuses this point. He mistakes religious teach- 
ings and doctrine for truth. Religious teachings and doctrine can con- 
tain truth, but the ultimate source of truth for each person lies within 
each of us. The most that a religion or spiritual teaching can do is to 
lead us to the inner reservoir of truth and show us how to imbibe. 

Eckankar has human nature on its side. No one wants to admit he 
has made a mistake. No one wants to appear gullible or admit being 
deceived. No one wants to lose self-reinforcing beliefs and feel terribly 
vulnerable. This is especially true because there is much love shared 
and expressed within Eckankar. But remember: positive events, people, 
and circumstances contain seeds of the negative, just as negative 
events, people, and circumstances contain seeds of the positive. They 
grow out of each other. There is nothing in the universe that is all bad or 
all good, all positive or all negative. Everything has both aspects of this 
duality. The reality that we perceive and experience is a function of 
whatever part of this duality we choose to focus on. Accordingly, what 
may initially seem negative may lead to important positive results. 

In the teaching of Eckankar, many High Initiates are unaware of the 
deception and fiction underlying the teaching. They feel they have 
experienced positive spiritual growth and have traveled into the inner 
God worlds. Many have reached a point where they had to search out- 
side the teaching of Eckankar (at least on the physical) for the wisdom 
that will take them to greater spiritual development. Many have taken 
this course because they found Harold's spiritual nourishment to be 
thin soup. The reason is now clear. The three Eck Masters reflect 
supreme consciousness no more than any other evolved soul. Paul, 
Darwin, and Harold were spurious masters of a spurious teaching based 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 245 

on a spurious history. Unaware of the facts surrounding Eckankar, High 
Initiates such as myself continued to believe in the dogma of the teach- 
ing. Some feared the curses with which Paul had threatened anyone 
who left Eckankar. 

I now laugh when I read Paul's threats. I know that it is only belief 
in the curse that creates power to affect destiny. But I also feel disgust 
for the treachery in a potentially beautiful teaching. The practice con- 
tinues with Paul's successors, who present spiritual truths, in spoken 
word and in print, while allowing these odious statements to remain in 
other Eckankar books. Harold often shows the positive face of love and 
caring, which I believe is a genuine part of him. Yet the sinister parts of 
the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad remain, and Harold urges followers to read 
and make it the cornerstone of their lives. 

In the end, soul must make a choice. If this book seeks to accom- 
plish anything, it is to remove the shackles of a religion, teaching, or 
path that instills fear of separation. Curses can be found in all major 
religions and in many personal relationships. If it is not hell and dam- 
nation, excommunication, or the devil, it is something else. Curses seek 
to frighten the individual into staying in place and following directions. 
In a later chapter, we will look at techniques for freeing ourselves and 
minimizing the pain of separation attendant to moving on. 

One of the paradoxes of Eckankar is that the leadership's manipula- 
tiveness is not found in most Eckists. Nor is it found in staff at the Tem- 
ple of Eck, despite the legacy of Paul and his successors. Staff members 
are dedicated, highly spiritually-evolved beings who believe the 
exalted claims of the Mahanta, the Living Eck Master. I have seen first- 
hand the love, sincerity, and beauty in their lives. They may have ques- 
tions and doubts, but they accept the core doctrine of the teaching and 
their own inner experiences, as formerly did I. 

Many staff, past and present, lived through some of the bizarre 
events that transpired. Yet, as true believers, they were able to explain 
away or ignore obvious inconsistencies between the Eckankar teaching 
and the words and deeds of its leaders. There will always be those with 
greater loyalty to a leader and his organization than to truth and God- 
Realization. They will learn in time. But they owe it to themselves to 
decide whether it is time to move to a more enlightened spiritual para- 


digm, one based in truth not deception. If their belief in Paul Twitchell 
and Eckankar can stand this test, then undoubtedly they are in the right 

Collaboration of Eckankar Leaders 

Some in the top leadership of Eckankar, past and present, who 
worked directly with the Living Eck Masters, were aware of much of 
what was happening. In reviewing the YQCord,^^ they were directly 
involved in hiding the truth from the membership. They built Eckan- 
kar 's reputation, particularly in the early years, as a litigious if not vin- 
dictive organization. They sued or threatened to sue anyone who 
challenged the authenticity of the teachings. They knew the extent of 
Paul's plagiarism and other aspects of deception and cover-up by Paul, 
Darwin, and Harold. Yet, they did not and do not now tell the member- 
ship the truth — if indeed they know it themselves — nor do they make 
an effort to correct the written record. Instead, at the behest of the spiri- 
tual leader, they have used every available legal device to protect the 
written works of Eckankar, plagiarisms and all. They hold to Harold's 
disingenuous astral library theory to cover Paul's literary theft. Their 
sense of duty and immersion in the fiction of the Mahanta has likely 
blinded them to the truth. In fairness, however, the doctrine of the Mah- 
anta causes them to subordinate their thinking to the judgement of the 
spiritual leader who, after all, purports to be "God made flesh." They 
are allowed to see only part of the picture, never enough to put all the 
pieces together. If I had not received the unintended blessing of a six- 
month discipline of intense study, I too would probably have continued 
as a staunch defender of the faith. 

The Responsibility of a Spiritual Leader 

We return to the point of trust and the responsibility that spiritual 
leaders have to impart truth to those who come to their doors seeking to 
learn about God. How can they place their petty interests and concerns 
for financial survival above the interests of vulnerable and sincere truth 
seekers? How dare they betray such devotion and spiritual innocence? 
Would they betray their children with whom they have an equal respon- 
sibility? How can they hide the truth from the faithful? 

Eckankar leaders in the field have never had access to the evidence 
of deception and scandal, at least not until now. David Lane brought 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 247 

some of the facts to light, but few in Eckankar have bothered to read 
him — appalling but telling. This is a measure of how much everyone, 
including me, trusted the leadership. Because of this trust and my belief 
in the teaching, I played a role in leading others down this mistaken 
path. But I am meeting my responsibility by setting the record straight 
through this book and other efforts to follow. All who have been 
touched by Eckankar and who now see it in a different light, will doubt- 
edly feel the need, as do I, to share their insight with others who have 
been influenced by their participation and devotion. 

No one has a monopoly on truth, and I certainly do not claim to 
have one. But each of us has an obligation to communicate what we 
now know to be the truth, especially if formerly we allowed untruth to 
use us. Some in Eckankar 's inner circle failed this test when they cov- 
ered up information they should have made known to the faithful. In 
my case, telling the truth means cutting the cord with the teaching that, 
for over thirty years, I faithfully served with love and devotion. When 
an individual or group dedicated to the spiritual upliftment of others 
knowingly blocks or conspires to distort the truth, their fate is sealed. In 
a telling passage from The Tiger 's Fang, Paul writes: 

Truth once released can never be suppressed; although it can be limited 
and misused. ... I asked, "What happens if a man should see God and 
fail in his duty? He would never completely see God. He might get very 
high on the ladder of spiritual success and fail. This is the source for the 
legend of the fallen angels."^'* 

Eventually the house of one who would distort, block, or suppress 
the truth of God will come tumbling down, as we have recently seen 
with the Catholic bishops guilty of this spiritual offense (as will be dis- 
cussed in a later chapter). But it is never too late. Whether an individual 
chooses truth or personal and organizational loyalty is a decision each 
ofus must make. 

"Beware of Moloch"«55 and Other Warnings 

Harold dribbled out some of the truth about Paul and the history of 
Eckankar only when he felt it was necessary. But even then, he spun the 
tale of Paul's life in a manner that turned the exploits of a prevaricator 
into essential experiences and training for the Mahanta, the Living Eck 
Master, who alone in the universe is "God made flesh." Even more 


tragic was each of the last two Eck Masters turning truth on its head and 
sabotaging the credibihty of the other. Harold, in a not so subtle refer- 
ence to Darwin during the turbulent days of their dispute, wrote and 
spoke about the worship of Moloch, "s-s attempting to discredit and 
demonize him. Referring to the same passage as above (from The 
Tiger 's Fang, where Fubbi Quantz was speaking), he quotes: 

He might become the leader of the enemies of light, and his lack of 
integrity excludes him from the society of Saints. It is really only his 
weight of guilt that holds him off "^^ 

As it turned out, both putative masters became enemies of the light, 
though one was more effective in using the label than the other. Both 
masters used personal attacks and misdirected the attention of follow- 
ers from a quest for God to a test of organizational and personal loyalty. 
Harold's response exemplifies the kind of defense that he has used over 
the years to protect Eckankar and his position in it. Harold used this 
approach in his letter to Graham accusing him of leading others off the 
path and exposing himself to a horrendous spiritual fate. Remember: he 
never answered Graham's questions; he only protected his position and 
left a sincere God-seeker to twist in the wind. Failure to answer ques- 
tions can be seen as the mercurial and enigmatic ways of a spiritual 
master. However, it can also be seen as the way of a power holder look- 
ing out for his interests. They are also the actions of one who has no 
answer and chooses to hide behind the mantle of master, leaving it to 
the individual to divine the truth. 

Defending the Faith 

Anyone who questions Eckankar is accused of being a pawn of the 
Kal. When these attacks are made in response to this book, the evi- 
dence that spirit has placed in front of the reader will light the way. It is 
equally likely that Eckankar will offer little if any guidance to leader- 
ship in the field to handle the charges. Practically none was offered 
after Lane's accusations, only the partial admissions in Harold's The 
Secret Teaching. Harold exposed as much as he safely could; Eckists 
were simply told to go on the inner. The leadership realized that loyalty 
to Eckankar coupled with the protective nature of the dream state 
would shield them and support the status quo. It was a safe strategy. 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 249 

It is no wonder that so many have been kept off balance and con- 
fused for so long. They have trusted their masters' statements, not real- 
izing that they were either manipulating them or terribly deceived 
themselves. For if Harold truly believes the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad, as he 
encourages his followers to, then the extent of his self-deception is so 
monumental that those who follow him do so at their own risk. It is the 
choice of soul. 

All we have is our inner and outer faculties to discern truth. When 
those we have trusted deceive and trick us, spirit will still find a way to 
lead us to truth and to the most critical lesson of all, that each of us is 
his own pathway to God. We can reach this level of awareness only by 
seeking truth and trusting our common sense, our instincts, and our 
inner guidance. Past loyalties and resistance to change encourage run- 
ning away. But all we then do is postpone the inevitable. Change is 
inevitable; it will constantly be with us. We will never "get there," for 
we are already "there" — we simply have not come to realize it. The 
struggle for God-Realization is the journey of discovering this funda- 
mental reality. Even with this realization, we remain in a state of 
becoming, ever expanding. The secret is to learn to enjoy the journey 
and sense when soul is directing us to take the next step. 

The Death of an Ideal 

In his "Death of an Ideal" pronouncement,«5^ discussed earlier, 
Harold ironically set forth a helpful framework for handling the death 
of Eckankar's fiction, which this book announces. Harold cited the 
work of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, M.D., who studied the stages of deal- 
ing with death: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and 
hope. This stage analysis is also applicable to most situations of an 
individual experiencing serious loss. Since my suspicion of deception 
in Eckankar, I have undergone experiences that in many ways parallel 
these stages. 


When I first read Lane's work, the pain and dislocation were trau- 
matic. I struggled to reconcile his findings with my faith and trust in 
Paul's writings and the Living Eck Master. I searched for a way to jus- 
tify denying the implications. I was successful and emerged with expla- 
nations that were at least plausible. It was a form of inoculation: a small 


exposure that prevents greater harm. I withdrew my allegiance to a per- 
son and focused on the unchanging nature of spirit itself. I found safe 
haven in concentrating on The Flute of God. Of all the Eckankar books, 
this one has the least Eckankar doctrine. Although it contains plagia- 
risms and employs the literary trick of an Eck Master as the source, it 
is, for the most part, a useful spiritual treatise. 

Darwin's ouster reinforced my focus — I wanted no more identifi- 
cation with any personality. I sought connection with the transcendent, 
the eternal. This second crisis did not lead to denial but rather to amaze- 
ment. However, those encountering these revelations for the first time 
will undoubtedly go into denial. Kubler-Ross describes this phase as: 
"No, not me, it cannot be true.''^^^ It is important to note she does not 
regard denial as bad or undesirable. In small doses, it enables an indi- 
vidual to cope. She saw it as 

a healthy way of dealing with the uncomfortable and painful situation 
with which some . . . have to live for a long time. Denial functions as a 
buffer after unexpected shocking news, allows the patient to collect 
himself and, with time, mobilize other, less radical defenses. ^° 

So denial is only a temporary defense and must soon be replaced 
with a willingness to accept, which often requires radical readjustment. 
Eckists underwent great change when they joined the teaching. Most 
left religions and paths that were incapable of meeting their spiritual 
needs, unable to answer their questions, or were found to be false or 
deceptive. As evidence against Eckankar mounts, later stages in this 
process of coping with a harsh truth are experienced. 


The second stage of this process is anger. I must admit to some 
degree of disgust. I was upset yet relieved that I had discovered Paul's 
deception. I understood what he did, even if I did not fully grasp why 
he did it. As the analysis of Paul and his life proceeded, these feelings 
subsided and were replaced by a measure of compassion. When I sus- 
pected Paul's actions stemmed from a pathological condition, under- 
standing replaced ire. 

If you feel anger after seeing the real history of Eckankar, know 
that gratitude from finally knowing the truth can restore your balance. 
From here, your course can be righted. Of course, there is the possibil- 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 25 1 

ity that your anger is directed at the author of this book and not at those 
who created the issue. If this is the case, I accept the burden that comes 
with being the messenger. However, I am comforted by the realization 
that whatever anger you feel will, in time, be assuaged by truth, which 
ultimately produces beneficial results. 


The third stage is bargaining. Here the person struggles for some 
way to head off the dire consequences of accepting the truth. In my 
case, I was initially able to bargain my way out of the conclusion that 
Eckankar was not true and that I should leave. My bargaining took the 
form of rationalization. I was prepared to accept Paul's plagiarism 
because I was grateful that he had revealed so much truth to me, regard- 
less of where he found it or from whom it was plagiarized. But I 
reached this conclusion only by assuming that what he had written was 
true. When, during my second encounter with the truth of Eckankar, it 
was revealed that Paul had corrupted the teaching with myths, lies, 
threats, and deception, I was no longer able to bargain. I had to face the 
possibility that I would leave the path — the last thing I wanted to do. 

Giving up thirty years of association with a teaching and the people 
in it you love and care for can never be easy. But this is when the God- 
seeker must face the reality of how much bargaining can be endured. I 
could always bargain my way out by replacing my devotion to truth 
with my loyalty to a man, a group, or a teaching. But this would com- 
promise the most fundamental tenet of my life: follow truth, as I am 
able to see it, wherever it leads. There is no room for bargaining here. 


Depression is the fourth stage. I experienced a certain amount of 
melancholy, but nothing that could be called depression. A certain 
amount of melancholy is involved in any major change in our lives. I 
was sad because I was leaving something behind that had been very 
dear to me. But I was far more excited by the extraordinary spiritual 
insight that came from breaking with Eckankar. Everything exploded. I 
felt a clear inner direction, strangely similar to Paul's vision of his mis- 
sion and to his inner experiences with the light and sound of God. This 
vision gathered truths in a process of syncretism^! and brought them 
together to support the God-seeker in me on my journey to higher con- 


sciousness. This time, it would be done without the self-interest and 
deception of Paul and Eckankar. My vision was clear: bring the com- 
bined enlightenment of souls dedicated to God-Realization to millions 
trapped by religions and pseudo-masters. The result would be a spiri- 
tual focus containing the collective wisdom of those who had devoted 
themselves to intense spiritual study and inner exploration. The highest 
teachings would bring spiritual truth to all who sought it. It would be a 
true teaching of Higher Consciousness. The vision was powerful and 
energizing. It easily overcame feelings of sadness. 


This stage was easy for me. I not only could accept this "death of an 
ideal," but I was able to give thanks to Eckankar for showing me higher 
truths. This is the role that all paths play. They are of value only to the 
degree that they lead us to the most basic of all truths. No religion or 
path is ultimately necessary to reach God-Realization, because each of 
us is a spark of God. But we need guidance, teaching, and instruction 
until we can stand on our own and continue the journey. Any path that 
does not wean the individual from attachments and intermediaries is a 
trap. Ceremony, magnificent buildings, history, and millions of follow- 
ers may glorify it. But, if it leaves the individual believing that a master, 
priest, savior, or messenger is closer to God, or necessary to communi- 
cate with God, it is still a trap. 


Throughout this process, one positive theme has run parallel to the 
stages of emotional readjustment that Kubler-Ross describes. That 
theme is a hope for the future, which, for me, took the form of gratitude 
for the expansion of awareness. While there was a lingering sense of 
loss of a close friend, there was the accompanying knowledge that I 
had moved ever closer to the truth of truths. We are one with the reality 
of God, and we need not go anywhere or do anything to receive the full 
power of the gift within us. 

Voices from the Past 

As each individual contemplates her relationship to Eckankar, or to 
any path, it may be useful to consider the experiences of others who 
have been there. They came to see the truth behind Eckankar and made 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 253 

the decision to seek a different spiritual course. Many put questions to 
Harold about inconsistencies in the teaching and Lane's revelations, 
but heard no answer. One chela read Lane's material and wrote Harold 
for answers to troubling questions: 

What choice do I have now? I am told there is only one way to the tme 
God or SUGMAD. And I am told if I leave the path I will suffer and in 
the end have to return to the Mahanta. Doesn't this monopolize spirit 
and God? I have no problem with a path being the quickest or most 
direct route, but somehow the prospect of having only one way back to 
God doesn't sit well with me. It leaves me no choice, no freedom. 

Sri Harold. . . . These accusations against Eckankar and the overtones of 
cult-like mind-control need to be addressed. I am surely not the only 
Chela with these deep concerns. And I know many members have left 
over these issues, and more will follow. Will you not address them and 
put an end to this controversy once and for all. I would appreciate an 
answer to this letter. ^^ 

The author never received a response from Harold, in spite of the 
poignant nature of the questions: business as usual at Eckankar. I too 
can attest to experiencing Harold's silence. Every letter I have written 
him asking fundamental questions has gone unanswered. Eckankar 's 
approach seems to be, "If they find out, let them go. Others will come; 
the faithful will remain." Flawed but obdurate, the teaching goes on. 

Many other former Eckists have shared their experiences on the 
Internet. Here are a few moving examples: 

The feelings of terror, which we and some of our friends experienced 
when we began to closely examine the foundations of Eckankar, was 
proof enough that we had separated from a group which has at its base a 
very subtle yet powerful force of mind control. In fact, two people that 
we know considered suicide because they felt so deeply betrayed by 
Eckankar and its leaders. . . . We cannot help feeling as though the lead- 
ers of Eckankar, past and present, have been deliberately playing on our 
desires of earnest spiritual liberation. Mr. Klemp, how can you profess 
to take souls into the true regions of God, when you cannot even tell 
your "chelas" the truth? Do you honestly believe, you have the ability to 
do so? ^3 

Here's the problem, the outer organization of Eckankar has been seri- 
ously and irrevocably polluted with, of course, plagiarism and flat out 
lies by the founder that are intended to keep students off balance for- 
ever. ^^ 


I can understand why many Eckists would be loath to even question 
Harold Klemp. They believe bad karma will ensue. . . . The organization 
is like a leaning stack of cards. The leader is dependent on the members 
for his livelihood. . . . Yes, the teachings of Eckankar bring results to the 
initiates because they were appropriated from a true spiritual source. I 
am grateful to Eckankar for my lessons. I have no prerogative on truth. I 
am simply a struggling soul like many others learning above [sic] love. I 
have only wanted to leave a few breadcrumbs behind me for those sym- 
pathetic souls who have also become ensnared in Eckankar's deceit... ^^ 

If God wants to communicate with us or guide us in our dreams to 
higher planes of consciousness, He would be able to do so without the 
assistance of an Eck "master." The troublesome thing about Eckankar, 
in my opinion, was that it incorporated a mixture of valuable spiritual 
wisdom, half-truths, and what I felt were outright lies. Parts of Eckan- 
kar's spiritual program worked well, while other parts of it caused 
immeasurable damage to my mind and to the minds of others I know.^^ 

Note that the last testimonial is from a web site for Eckankar "survi- 
vors." Survivorsl This shows the damage wreaked by an organization 
whose support and guidance ceases once the hard questions are posed. 
Silence, lawsuits, and personal attacks have been the only concession 
to openness that Eckankar has been willing to make in the face of chal- 
lenges to its veracity. 

In recent years, the Catholic Church has been more forthright about 
its failings than has Eckankar, the so-called highest teaching one the 
planet. Members of the Catholic laity wonder if their church is dying. ^^ 
For many of them, the deception has gone on too long; the Church's 
last-minute scramble to truth has come too late. Their leaders have 
betrayed them, just as the leaders of Eckankar have their followers. 
Their pain is spread over the media, just as the pain of former Eckists is 
spread all over the Internet. 

Telling one's story is cathartic and helpful to others in the same 
plight. A new web site has been set up specifically for Eckists and oth- 
ers to share experiences and feelings on learning the full story about 
Eckankar.^s I invite everyone to participate in this process of sharing, 
healing, and helping. It is an important part of moving on. One former 
Eckist discovered that resigning from Eckankar was not enough to end 
the hold that this inspiring yet insidious teaching had on him: 

I [was] in Eckankar for some 22 years. [W]hen I first joined it was a 
frontier teaching focusing on how to expand our awareness beyond the 

Eckankar Following the Twitchell Years 255 

physical into the finer states of love, wisdom and creativity. . . . How- 
ever, I noticed at the beginning of the nineties that the teaching seemed 
to be dumbed down to the extent that it was no longer exciting and this 
seemed to coincide with the path becoming a religion. 

Eventually twenty-two years after joining, I was on the inner planes 
when the silent beings from the ocean [of] light and sound (love and 
mercy) lifted me up out of the teaching. I found myself going through 
Soul Realization. I was shown many truths about Eckankar. The next 
morning I was a bit bewildered, I knew that I had to leave Eckankar. It 
was suddenly like an empty shell. 

The next night, Wah Z [Harold Klemp] offered me a higher initiation, 
but I could not accept, for I knew the teachings now to be too limiting 
for me. 

One night after formally leaving, I was on the inner planes when this 
gargantuan being in a blue suit came lumbering towards me. This being 
had the face of Harold and was really chunky and bulbous. I realized 
this was the body of Eckankar looking for me, to absorb me back into its 
body. ... I looked more closely [and] saw this body was stuffed full of 
chelas, it was hideous. . . . They looked ghoulish, desperate for freedom, 
but I could not help them . . . and I was in danger too of being consumed 
back into this body. . . . Next I called upon my infinite Soul power and 
[sent] these gold and white shock waves that flowed out of my heart 
center like radio waves. Each pulse of energy from Soul made this bul- 
bous body stumble. After a few moments it stopped and looked at me, I 
was its match in power and had no fear. But it would not go away. Like 
a malevolent being it monitored me looking for a weakness. ... So I 
sent it several more pulses of Soul energy, it stumbled severely, the body 
was now hurt so I decided to break it open and sent it several more 
energy shocks, but the body of Eckankar was smart and it turned tail 
and started to lumber off . . . 

Six months after leaving, I was chatting to a friend who told me . . . she 
had seen me fronting [channeling] the Eck energy, that I was still corded 
into the Mahanta, even though I had left the teaching. With that I went 
into the inner planes to check and my God she was right. . . . [S]o I went 
back onto the inner to access the situation. These cords looked like the 
rope that anchors ships, they had been there for years and all sorts of 
growths were hanging off the cording. The Angels of the Violet fiame^'' 
illuminated each cord, and together we severed each one. 

Over the next few days I repeated the mantra "I sever all connections 
through all time and through all dimensions with Eckankar and its 
teachings." On the Friday I got a severe jaw ache. That night I experi- 
enced the deepest pain I had experienced in my life, nothing would kill 
the pain, I knew this was the remnants of the higher physical cording 
finally breaking. It takes a while to move down through the dimensions. 


It felt like all the nerves in my jaw were being severed all at once. I was 
in so much pain I could not stay in my body, as I floated out of my 
anguished body, I heard Harold say "Call upon the Mahanta and the 
pain will stop." I knew that this meant that the cord breaking would 
stop. I refused, the pain got worse. ... In the morning I knew I was free 
of this cult in every way through all dimensions and all time. 

To resign one's membership is not sufficient, one has to actually un-cord 
oneself from the teaching. . . . When I left I unfolded at an unprece- 
dented rate. I cut through so many illusions and falsehoods... ^° 

Finally, the next letter expresses sentiments about Paul that are 
shared by many. A man who at a very young age had met him and been 
impressed by his kindness and wisdom wrote: 

I went through what many of you are still going through. ... I spent 
many years in anger. Not just for the lies but for the cover-up and anger 
from the Living Eck Master. . . . 

Over the years the pain diminished and I was able to reclaim my life 
again for myself I may not know your hurt . . . but I know MY Hurt . . . 
and I can use that to understand how those who left Eckankar for the lies 

[Paul] was very very kind to me. I loved being around him and I 
watched him and mirrored him as best I could. Paul Twitchell, god man, 
con man, liar, truth giver, author, thief, husband, adulterer etc. . . . 
impacted my life and the way I still see the world. I think of him 
often. ^1 

There are many other examples conveying the grasp that Eckankar 

once had on those who finally saw and confronted its deceptions. I urge 

all Eckists and potential Eckists to read them and judge for them- 
selves. ^^ 

Chapter 11 — Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the 
Myth of the Master 

When I accepted the truth about Eckankar, my first reaction was to 
search for another teaching to continue my spiritual study. My instinct 
was to go to Eckankar 's source where I might find the pure, uncor- 
rupted teachings of the Hght and sound. More than anything else, Eck- 
ankar came from the Radhasoami Satsang tradition in India, a 
derivative of Surat Shabd Yoga. Paul said as much in one of his earlier 
articles, in which he called it a form of "way out Yoga." 

In my view, Surat Shabd Yoga is one of the higher expressions of 
the search for the God reality. The word "Yoga" derives from the San- 
skrit word yunakti, which literally means yoke or union, in our context, 
the union of soul and spirit. Surat Shabd Yoga is the means of connect- 
ing the soul (Surat) with the holy sound (Shabd) of God. Through its 
inner-directed techniques, soul transcends physical limitations and 
directly experiences the light and sound of God. While appearing to 
have roots in the period of the Upanishadsi in India (800 to 600 
B.C.E.), it is most closely associated with a line of masters that goes 
back 500 years, when the practice developed into the form known 
today. The Sants (saints) were associated with the Nirguna School^ of 
Hindu poetry, which claimed such exponents as Kabir, Guru Nanak, 
Daduji, and Paltu Sahab.^ The modern-day version of Surat Shabd 
Yoga is most closely associated with the Indian Yogi, Huzur Swamiji 
Maharaj (called Seth Shiv Dayal Singh [1818-1878]). He drew on the 
teachings of Hinduism, Sufism, the Koran, Tantric Yoga, and the works 
of Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Guru Nanak, Paltu, and Kabir, among others, 
to formulate his own spiritual path. This path is called Sant Mat (holy 
path, path of the masters, or teaching of the saints) or Radhasoami 
(sometimes Radha Soami, "Lord of Soul"). Shiv Dayal Singh lived and 


taught in the city of Agra, in the Uttar Pradesh District. "^ While Sant 
Mat has a centuries-old spiritual connection, the Radhasoami tradition, 
as it is known today, is of relatively recent vintage. 

History of Sant Mat 

As we read the texts and references to Sant Mat (Radhasoami), 
there is much to remind us of Eckankar. For instance, Sant Mat is said 
to go back to the dawn of recorded history, and references to it can be 
found in all scriptures and religious traditions of the world, even 
though it began in the latter half of the 1800s. References to this more 
ancient lineage of Sant Mat go back to the time of Kabir (ca. 1398- 
1518). Kabir taught the union of all and the necessity of linking the 
individual with the sound and light of God in order to make the journey 
back to the Godhead. 

Kirpal Singh, Paul Twitchell's guru, proclaimed it to be the essen- 
tial teaching of all saints and masters since the dawn of time. He is 
reputed to have said: 

This Science of Spirituality is definite and natural with sure results. It 
has been given many names throughout the past. All the past Masters 
gave the same teachings, as did Jesus Christ. It is a universal teaching in 
all the religions of the world and this is amply borne out by the sacred 
scriptures everywhere.'^ 

Does this sound familiar? It should, because it resembles the mythol- 
ogy that Paul used to anchor Eckankar. It is no wonder that many who 
left Eckankar found their way to Paul's teacher or his successor. Kirpal 
Singh had established the Ruhani Satsang, which grew out of the 
Radhasoami Satsang tradition, which in turn, traces its lineage to Shiv 
Dayal Singh. All of the present-day teachings of the science of the 
sound and light, including Eckankar, derive from Shiv Dayal Singh. 

But as is true in many spiritual paths, Radhasoami was marked with 
charges of fakery and spiritual illegitimacy. The number of Sat Gurus 
claiming to be the God-man in India alone is literally in the hundreds. 
Most claim lineage back to Shiv Dayal Singh and present themselves as 
able to give the true initiation that links the chela with the light and 
sound of God. 

The more research I conducted, the clearer it became that running 
off to India would get me no closer to truth. Why run from one discred- 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 259 

ited path and master to one perhaps less sullied, but nevertheless of 
doubtful authenticity? The research of Mark Juergensmeyer and David 
Lane (yes, the same David Lane) was invaluable in seeing the truth in 
these paths. "5 While still a satsangi (a student of Radhasoamij Lane 
took an academic interest in this teaching. He writes: 

Truth, as such, is not the issue here; rather, the human process of defin- 
ing truth, approaching truth, explaining truth . . . particularly as it relates 
to the transmission of spiritual authority from one leader to another^ 

My interest was quite different from Juergensmeyer 's and Lane's 
academic focus. As a God-seeker, my interest was entirely about truth, 
the golden road to higher consciousness. But sociological studies of 
religion could be helpful in this pursuit. They provide methods to help 
the God- seeker judge the validity of teachings and masters. Their find- 
ings form the basis of analysis undergirding many of the conclusions of 
this book. Thus, the history of guru succession provides insight into the 
integrity of the professed masters, the validity of their claims, and the 
intrinsic truth of their teachings. After my experiences with Eckankar, I 
was simply looking for an honest master and teacher, and a method for 
determining honesty. 

I assumed that no matter how troubled or frustrated Paul's life was, 
the master under whom he had studied (and later denied), Kirpal Singh, 
was not of his ilk. I was hopeful that Kirpal Singh and his successors 
showed honesty, integrity, and genuine concern for truth that chela Paul 
Twitchell had failed to demonstrate. But as I examined the life of Kir- 
pal Singh, his contemporaries, and successors, as well as Radhasoami 
itself, it became increasingly clear that the problem lay with the mas- 
ters themselves, if not with the whole concept of "master." 

Sant Mat and the Tradition of Masters 

The Radhasoami tradition has always posited a master as the sine 
qua non of spiritual development. Julian Johnson makes this point 
repeatedly in what many regard as the seminal work on Radhasoami in 
the West, The Path of the Masters.^ Johnson's book is a virtual testa- 
ment to, if not advertisement for, the necessity of a master in the jour- 
ney of a God-seeker (a point this book vigorously challenges). Paul 
copied the Radhasoami teaching and more particularly Julian Johnson, 
when he articulated the "three great facts [that] stand out in letters of 


light at the very entrance to the Royal Highway of the Saints."^ 
Johnson described them as: 

Sat Guru — Shabd Dhun — Jivan Mukti (1) Sat Guru, the Master, the 
Saint, (2) Shabd Dhun, the Audible Life Stream, the melodious Sound, 
the Sound primeval, (3) Jivan Mukti, spiritual freedom here and now, 
meaning perfect liberation during this lifetime. ^° 

Paul repeated the importance of these three requirements, espe- 
cially the need for a master, which also formed the basis of his first set 
of discourses and the heart of Eckankar. This need for a master is a vital 
part of the Radhasoami tradition. It helps to support a virtual guild of 
masters in India, which now proliferates in the West. Each master 
claims to be God-enlightened and a direct representative of God, if not 
the only such representative. This is not to say that many of these teach- 
ers are not sincere and well meaning. Many certainly are. They greatly 
assist students in gaining deep insights into the inner and outer realities 

But the need for spiritual guidance does not justify elevation of a 
master to a role beyond that of a teacher. Over and over, we find a mas- 
ter treated as an object of worship — hardly surprising when he calls 
himself a "God-man" or "Perfect Master." Such a master may realize 
he is a spark of God, an embodiment of God on earth. But he fails to 
teach his followers that they too are sparks of God, embodiments of the 
Divine. Thus, he fails in his most important if not only role: helping the 
God-seeker see, know, and experience this reality for himself. 

Such masters keep their students dependent and overlook the 
necessity for weaning, as any good parent understands. Even today, 
there is the tendency of masters to set themselves far above those they 
teach. This attitude, clearly seen in Radhasoami, Eckankar and its 
progeny" calls into question the master-chela relationship itself. 

Succession Within Radhasoami Satsang Beas 

In a line of masters and a path that is as putatively distinguished as 
Radhasoami, one would expect harmonious order and mutual respect 
in succession of leadership. But succession in the Radhasoami tradition 
has been as disorderly and scandal ridden as in Eckankar. As we read of 
the storied line of Radhasoami masters, their claims of succession, and 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 261 

the questionable lives many lived, we may see where skepticism about 
masters as a prerequisite to spiritual liberation derives. 

Let's start with the life and times of Shiv Dayal Singh, the founder 
of Radhasoami. He was born in 1818, fulfilling the prophecy of the 
family's Guru, Tulsi Sahib: Mahamaya, Singh's mother "will have a 
son. But do not look upon the child as a mere human being. "i^ Singh's 
principal historian, Rai Salig Ram, by claiming that Singh did not have 
a guru and was never initiated, elevates him to born Sant (saint). Yet, 
Singh's family, including his mother, followed Tulsi Sahib when they 
lived in Hathras. There may be those who elevate Singh to a bom Sant, 
never requiring any instruction, but a child, even a spiritually advanced 
one, is still a child. It is hard to believe his family would keep from him 
the instruction that would certainly be provided for a special child. 

Others clearly assert that Tulsi Sahib initiated Shiv Dayal Singh, 
who later left to form his own path. Indeed, L. R. Puri in his Radha 
Soami Teachings writes: 

As Swami Ji [affectionate name for Shiv Dayal Singh] was much 
younger, Tulsi Sahib looked upon him like his own son and treated him 
with great love and affection. ^^ 

Whatever actually occurred, the work of a spin-doctor is apparent. 
Singh's principal historian sought to disclaim any connection with any 
predecessor or teacher. This enhanced the image of a new divinely- 
inspired master, who needed no gum to achieve his exalted state. 

In the same manner, the founder of Eckankar sought to dissociate 
himself from his teacher and roots. He wanted to claim exclusive prov- 
idence over a teaching he planned to build into a personal empire. But it 
is strange for the founder of Radhasoami to claim he had no master. 
One of its tenets is the absolute necessity of a master. But presumably, 
this all-important tenet only applied to lesser souls who followed Shiv 
Dayal Singh, whom his adherents claimed to be the first incamation of 
the Supreme Being, Radhasoami. Even during the life of Shiv Dayal 
Singh, he made no mention of his study under any other master. But 
this is not surprising for one who seeks to dissociate himself from his 
past and stand alone as an exalted leader. Such a leader often wants to 
be credited with accomplishments without the drain of recognition 
from acknowledging roots. 


We see that the history, myth making, and fiction of the Radha- 
soami tradition were seeded in much the same way as were other major 
religions. Founders surround themselves with, or are surrounded by, 
fantastic stories to establish and celebrate their divinity or near divinity. 
Jesus was purportedly of virgin birth and attended by three oriental 
kings. While the Islamic prophet Muhammad had an ordinary birth, his 
grandson, the first Imam, was born in particular grandeur when 
Muhammad's daughter, Fatima, walked through the stone Kaaba as it 
opened to her and emerged three days later bearing a newborn child, 
Ali. The tales and the myths in the dogma of all world religions create 
the stuff of inner experiences that followers believe and accept as truth. 
These stories have no intrinsic truth, but followers attach truth to them. 
That is why anchoring our beliefs in myths and stories only place us in 
an attractive inner landscape for a while. In time we learn that the scen- 
ery is only as real as our belief in it. We can then gain mastery over the 
scenery and our movement within it. 

The Beas Line of Radhasoami Masters 

Drama within the Radhasoami movement started as soon as its 
founder died. Finding a successor was paramount. By all accounts, 
Swamiji (the name used by devotees of Shiv Dayal Singh) named 
Hazur Rai Saligram as successor. Saligram assumed this role and 
directed the activity of Radhasoami in Agra from 1878 to 1898. The 
Agra lineage of Radhasoami was always considered to be the pure line 
of succession, but their accomplishments as a movement pale in com- 
parison to the branch started by Baba Jaimal Singh. 

The life of Jaimal Singh is important because his efforts led to the 
more prominent branch of Radhasoami, the Beas line. This line of mas- 
ters includes, among others, Sawan Singh (Julian Johnson's master), 
Kirpal Singh (Paul Twitchell's master), and Charan Singh (David 
Lane's and Graham Forsyth's master). Accordingly, an examination of 
the stories surrounding their ascension to gurudom is in order. 

The two followers, Jaimal Singh and Sawan Singh, were autho- 
rized to give initiatiations under Article 16 of the Agra Central Admin- 
istrative Council (CAC), a body that oversaw Radhasoami activities in 
the area. Both worked under several gurus on the CAC.^^ There is no 
record that Swamiji instructed Jaimal to go to the Punjab to give initia- 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 263 

tions as he claimed. In fact, many argue there is little evidence he ever 
met Swamiji. He was seen as a self-proclaimed master. The CAC took 
him to task several times for posing as a guru. He admitted that he was 
not a guru but continued to give initiations anyway. 

The controversy gave rise to a bitter court battle that reached the 
high court of India. In a deposition from the case, the president of the 
CAC stated: 

I am president of RS Central Administrative Council at Allahabad. The 
28 names selected for the formation of the council (in 1902) included 
the name of Baba Jaimal Singh. The name of Jaimal Singh was included 
because he had agreed that he would give up acting as a guru. . . . He 
was given general power of initiation in the very first meeting of the 
Council. But, he did not stick to his undertaking and the said general 
power of initiation was cancelled. ^^ 

The relationship between the CAC and Jaimal Singh did not improve. 
In June of 1903, it passed a resolution stating: 

After inquiry, it transpired that Baba Jaimal Singh did not consider him- 
self to be Sant and that he had no objection to the entry of his name in 
the register of Satsangis.^^ 

While Jaimal's relation with the CAC was rather contentious, he 
maintained positive relations with Shiv Dayal Singh's family. This 
relationship, and one with a blind guru who was an initiate of Shiv 
Dayal Singh, helped to legitimize his work and lay the foundation for 
the line of Beas masters that followed. Jaimal Singh was never verifi- 
ably authorized to give initiations by Shiv Dayal Singh or his succes- 
sor, Rai Salig Ram. However, Jaimal claimed that he received his 
authority directly from Shiv Dayal Singh in 1877, nine months before 
his death. In spite of this, Jaimal Singh apparently waited seven years 
before he began to give any initiations. ^^ In 1891, Jaimal started the 
Beas group. He initiated Sawan Singh in October of 1894. 

In 1903, just three days before Jaimal's death, after complaints that 
he was posing as a guru and not sending in names of initiates, the CAC 
passed another resolution: 

[A] strong warning should be administered to him [Jaimal] through 
Chachaji Saheb by means of registered, acknowledgment due, letter and 
that in case of failure to comply with it, necessary action may be 
taken. 1^ 


At Jaimal's death, no effort was made to dissuade followers in the Pun- 
jab that their initiations were fake or questionable. Jaimal never stated 
he was not a guru and so left his followers to infer what any true 
believer would: that Jaimal had been a gum and even a Sant. This was a 
source of friction between Jaimal and the CAC from the beginning. 
Sawan Singh also looked upon him in this manner and used his associ- 
ation with Jaimal as the basis for his eventual break with the CAC and 
the original Radhasoami group. 

Based on Sawan's association with Jaimal, he asserted that he too 
was a gum. But the story of succession from Jaimal Singh is anything 
but clear. At his death in 1903, some reports assert that he considered 
Sawan inept and powerless, and instructed those initiated under him to 
go to someone else.^^ Others report that the succession was clear, and 
that Jaimal Singh informed his followers that Sawan Singh would take 
his place conducting satsangs and giving initiations. ^o Still others 
report that the successions went through several other gurus before 
being taken over by Sawan Singh in 1915.^1 

Sawan Singh's assertion came out of thin air; he had no legitimacy 
as far as the lineage of Radhasoami masters was concerned. This was 
especially true of the line deriving from Swamiji and his written and 
stated wishes regarding succession. Sawan's claims of succession from 
Jaimal Singh were also dubious, even if Jaimal Singh himself had a 
legitimate claim to successorship. Nevertheless, Sawan Singh broke 
from the CAC and started his own line of masters, claiming Jaimal 
Singh as a legitimizing link to Shiv Dayal Singh (or at least his family). 
Sawan Singh and the Beas line of masters have been the principal 
teachers of the Radhasoami tradition. They now claim the largest num- 
ber of Radhasoami followers in India and abroad, especially in the 

Throughout this murky history, several points should be clear. Mas- 
tership has little to do with spiritual attainment. It has far more to do 
with being selected by a master or deciding for yourself that you have 
the right stuff, and proclaiming your status to the world. Succession 
works more like taking over a family business than a sacred anoint- 
ment. Second, the fact that the courts of India had to intervene to settle 
a spiritual matter (remember Darwin Gross vs. Eckankar?) is evidence 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 265 

of dubiousness. Succession woes went on. Kirpal Singh defended his 
claim of succession by creating this mystical account of the transfer of 
authority from Sawan Singh to him: 

Hazur steadily kept gazing for three or four minutes into my eyes, and 
my eyes, in silent wonderment, experienced an indescribable delight 
which infused intoxication down to the remotest core of my entire 

And later, in 1955, he wrote about the same incident: 

The authority of giving initiation into the beyond and contacting with 
the Word, which he vouchsafed to me verbally on October 12, 1947, 
was thus completely transferred while going. The intoxication of that 
glance is still the life of my soul.^^ 

Sawan Singh had not received his authority to be guru from a personal 
transfer of authority from Jaimal Singh. Yet, Kirpal Singh regarded this 
intimate transfer to be essential. He even argued that such a succession 
could not take place through a written will. However, the founder of 
Radhasoami Bias, Jaimal Singh, and his self-proclaimed successor, 
Sawan Singh, had both attempted such a transfer by will, or at least in 

Harold invoked the ancient mystification that only a master can 
name his successor (written into the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad by Paul) as 
rationale for my discipline. But such a formal transfer has never 
occurred in Eckankar, except in the transfer from Darwin to Harold, 
which Darwin later rescinded. There is no eternal spiritual principle 
regarding a necessity for succession, anointed or otherwise. 

Rules of succession are a contrived set of guidelines designed to 
control the franchise and limit the number of people claiming authority. 
It was and is a ruse, abandoned at the convenience of those claiming 
legitimate ties to some lineage. Paul abandoned the only line of masters 
with whom he had association. Seeking legitimacy, he invented his 
own line of masters and gave himself the newly forged Rod of Eck 
Power. The ritualistic passing of the Rod would, it was hoped, elimi- 
nate pretenders claiming a secret whisper and holy gaze in the night. 

Initiations too are more administratively sanctioned spectacles than 
spiritual rites with inner significance. They allow the organization to 
hold members and ensure a steady flow of resources. We have already 


seen this in Eckankar, but it was the source of many conflicts between 
Jaimal Singh and the CAC. Jaimal would not turn over the records of 
those he had initiated, depriving the CAC of revenue. 

Various masters only perpetuate the myth that they are connecting 
the chela to the light and sound of God rather than teaching that the 
light and sound are already a part of each of us. It should be clear that 
the rigid rule of successorship, with its mystical connotations of the 
passing of some special power, is sheer nonsense. A successor's belief 
can make it a truth, at least for him, but that is all. If the dogma of 
Radhasoami were true, then those initiated by the line of Jaimal Singh 
are illegitimate and should not be able to see the light or hear the 
sounds of God. But, if through initiation, which is really the individ- 
ual's own efforts, a seeker is able to see the light and hear the sound, 
then the dogma surrounding succession is false. It is false because con- 
tacting the light and sound of God has nothing to do with master suc- 
cession, or for that matter with a master. 

Like anyone with a new job, a master starts out with little confi- 
dence in his abilities but grows into the role. A statement by Charan 
Singh is testimony to the lack of any exceptional spiritual attainment or 
intrinsic power inherent in a new master. He confessed he had no spe- 
cial powers or attainment and frankly didn't know what he was doing. 

When I look upon myself and my shortcomings I feel very perplexed 
and find myself unable to decide whether I am really fit for these oner- 
ous duties. This struggle has prevented me so far from meeting the San- 
gat [True Association] for which I ask your forgiveness. I wish to tell 
the Sangat quite frankly, however, that I do not make any claims what- 
soever to any spiritual attainments; perhaps I lack even those excel- 
lences which a good satsangi should possess... ^^^ 

If new masters were wise, they would not accept the hype sur- 
rounding their exalted positions and instead understand their limita- 
tions and sacred trust. But this is not often the case. One such gum was 
aware of these limitations and of the inherent problems affecting guru- 
dom in general: 

Disciple hunters are not wanting. They are as numerous as leaves on a 
tree. For most of them, gurudom is a very profitable job which can 
secure enormous income which they cannot otherwise earn. A simple 
threat of a curse upon one who happens to displease them, may bring 
thousands to abject submission. . . . Not only this, but in order to ensure 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 267 

monopoly of their profession they declare that none but one belonging 
to the privileged class has the right of being a guru. The popularly 
believed principle that a disciple can never break off the sacred connec- 
tion with his guru under any circumstance, is also a cunning device 
adopted by those false gurus to make their position safe and secure and 
is nothing but fraud. ^'^ 

There is little question that many masters have learned to hear the 
inner sounds, see the light, and travel within the inner worlds. But 
many masters have not; they merely mimic predecessors who might or 
might not have had these experiences. Everyone has the capability to 
see the inner light and to hear the inner sounds. It does not require mas- 
tership or master. It only requires that one know and practice tech- 
niques to quiet the mind and go within, techniques that are easy to teach 
though difficult to master. The propaganda about the need for a master 
is a form of control over those who are unaware of their own divinity 
and their capacity for inner exploration. 

That we need a teacher to explain the methods of inner travel and 
the nature of the light and sound of God is unquestioned. But to insist 
that this can only happen at the knee of a master is not only disingenu- 
ous but also untruthful. If those in Eckankar can, through practice and 
discipline, hear the sound, see the light, and travel to the highest realms 
of God, then anyone can, for Eckankar's claim to a legitimate line of 
masters is as illegitimate as they come! Yet, I can personally attest to 
the validity of such inner experiences and of the numerous people who 
attest to having had them. The truth is, masters have virtually nothing 
to do with inner experiences or even their own appearance within our 
inner universes. 

Experiences with the Light and Sound of God 

During a visit to Africa on behalf of Eckankar many years ago, my 
colleagues and I conducted an introductory talk on the light and sound 
of God before an audience that had never heard of the phenomenon. 
The group numbered well over three hundred, which in itself was star- 
tling, given that we had advertised by poster for only three days prior to 
the event. We introduced the audience to the HU, a mantra used exten- 
sively in Sufism, Radhasoami, and later Eckankar, and showed and 
described the techinque of going within. Without telling them anything 
more, we allowed the audience to chant this sound aloud and then in 


silence. The group was queried afterward about what, if anything, they 
had experienced. Several persons raised their hands and announced 
they had heard the tinkling of bells, the buzzing of bees, the sound of 
the wind, a flute, or thunder. They also described seeing a light so 
bright that, ironically, they had to open their eyes. I was astonished, and 
a myriad of thoughts, about innate spirituality and about the Eckankar 
organization, rushed through my mind. No master was around, no spe- 
cial "Simran"26 was practiced, and no special efforts were made to con- 
nect anyone to the light and sound. All that was needed was an 
audience of God-seekers and information on the techniques of spiritual 
exercises. The rest was up to them, or better put, the rest was inside of 
them. But even here, the tendency of Eckankar lore to usurp anything 
and everything that happened in the lives of its followers and everyone 
else would explain it differently. Eckankar asserts that it is the Mah- 
anta, the inner master working with these newcomers who is responsi- 
ble for their immediate attainment of the light and sound. Such is the 
ubiquitous nature of Eckankar methodology, and those of other mas- 
ters, that a God-seeker is under their wing whether they know it or like 
it or not. 

Yet, this experience always stood out to me as evidence that all is 
within. We need no one to connect us to something that we already are 
and that is part of us. A master only instructs us in the ways of inner 
travel; anything else steals credit for an innate gift we all possess. But 
this is the way of the masters. They repeat the same jargon that their 
predecessor repeated and everyone ends up believing the mythology. 
The founder of Radhasoami claimed not to have needed a master, and 
neither does any soul, which is not to say that a teacher is not needed, 
for we are all endowed with these God- given capabilities. 

The Life and Legacy of Baba Faqir Chand 

With so much deception, mythmaking, and fiction in all spiritual 
paths, I was heartened to discover a master whose honesty and integrity 
were so startling as to be monumental. He made it his mission to smash 
the cliches of his peers and proclaim the truth as his unique and 
declared mission in life. It was so refreshing to read about this man that 
I have read his works many times. I am speaking about the extraordi- 
nary Baba Faqir Chand. 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 269 

Bom in 1 886, Baba Faqir Chand had a profound impact on the spir- 
itual life of his followers. He followed the line of masters originating 
with Shiv Dayal Singh. His master studied under Rai Salig Ram Sahib, 
who succeeded the founder of the Radhasoami tradition. Sawan Singh 
even recognized him as a legitimate master — not that he needed it. 

From a Brahmin family in the Punjab, he was aware from age 
seven of a deep spiritual craving. Not understanding its nature, he 
would call on Rama, Krishna, or God. Educated only to middle school, 
he joined the communication service at age sixteen. After a rambunc- 
tious youth filled with the normal assortment of worldly experiences, 
he began meditating on the images of Rama and Krishna, who would 
be with him whether he was working or walking. His contact with Lord 
Krishna became strained when one day he directed him to eat cow 
dung. Faqir complied but was puzzled by the strange request, for in all 
his studies he had never read of Lord Krishna directing a disciple to eat 
cow dung. His faith in the image of Lord Krishna was shaken. Yet he 
wept continuously for twenty-four hours, hoping to see him in the form 
of a human being. This episode produced a call to a doctor, who pro- 
claimed he had gone mad. But persistence paid off and, at four in the 
morning, he saw the image of his new master, Shiv Brat Lal.^^ 

Baba Faqir Chand was instrumental in destroying myths I once 
believed about the master-chela relationship. Many of the conclusions I 
had reached as a result of my own experience with masters and my con- 
tinued inner and outer exploration of truth were confirmed by the 
words of this insider. What Chand did that was so revolutionary was to 
debunk the mystique that most masters build around themselves. Most 
prominent among these myths are their so-called powers and their con- 
scious involvement in the inner and outer lives of chelas. Chand 
stressed that the power did not lie with the master but instead lay within 
the God-seeker. He averred that even the inner contact between chela 
and master is not the result of any action on the part of the master, but 
instead is generated by the individual's higher self, using forms and 
images comfortable and acceptable to the chela. 

This in no way diminishes or invalidates the inner experience, for 
all forms, physical or inner, are the result of imagination acting on spirit 
(matter, motion, and consciousness) to produce an inner or outer mani- 


festation. What Chand is pointing out, however, is that the inner-self 
and the beliefs of each person control the appearance of a master. The 
higher self is always directing and guiding our lives to realize the end 
of expanded awareness. 

Our power as soul is limitless and embodies all of the properties of 
the whole of which we are a part, just as a ray of light reflects the prop- 
erties of its source. We are limited in our ability to project and demon- 
strate the full potential of this power while we occupy a physical shell, 
but tremendous power is within us nevertheless. As we expand our 
awareness to identify and communicate with this higher part of our- 
selves, we begin to see the God-like qualities within. This is precisely 
what those who have ventured within and discovered the secret of all 
secrets have found. Those who have had this realization and returned to 
serve as a master or teacher often fail to see that everyone has the same 
latent capabilities. We differ only in the recognition and acceptance of 
the God power that we all possess in limitless supply. 

This was the essential message of Chand. He conveyed this mes- 
sage in the language of the master-chela relationship by confessing 
what few if any members of his guild wanted known. Chand openly 
stated that he was completely unaware of the miracles that devoted fol- 
lowers ascribed to him. He had received countless letters from initiates 
attesting to his physical presence at crucial junctures in their lives, 
some crediting him with saving them from an awful fate. They wrote 
him about his inner and outer appearances before them and of the mar- 
velous inner journeys they had taken together. Unlike most masters, 
who would simply put on an inscrutable smile of knowingness, he 
freely admitted that he had played no part. 

This phenomenon has been clear to me for many years. After 
extensive speaking engagements in Europe, America, Canada, and 
Africa, I routinely received letters thanking me for some insight I had 
shared in an inner classroom, while journeying with them on some 
inner trip, or appearing before them to warn of danger. Many would 
write of an inner marriage with me or some other incident of a personal 
nature. I never regarded this as anything other than the use of my form 
by their higher selves to teach, guard, or guide them through a difficult 
situation. I did nothing; their inner faculties merely used my inner form 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 271 

because they felt an inner connection with me. My form became a 
bridge they could use for inner communication. It also became evident 
to me that unscrupulous or deluded individuals could use this phenom- 
enon to enhance their own position and status as masters. 

Some masters proclaim they know the condition of chelas and can 
project to them. Elaboration on this matter is in order. It is possible to 
project one's consciousness into the space of another in a manner as 
real as a personal meeting. While this can occur in the waking state, it 
most frequently occurs in the dream state. This can also occur by pro- 
jecting one's consciousness to a physical location and becoming aware 
of events there. In popular parlance, this is part of the phenomenon 
called "remote viewing." This form of projection is not as strange as it 
might sound. Most people have "daydreamed" and shifted their aware- 
ness to another place or to another person, completely oblivious to the 
location of their physical body. 

Over the years, there have been many experiments by practitioners 
of the art of projection and remote viewing. In these experiments, one 
person projects her consciousness to another location. The object of the 
experiment is to determine if the projected body (consciousness) can 
become aware of and accurately report on events and appearances in 
the other location. Many of these experiments seem successful but are 
not overseen by rigorous research standards. They have established, at 
least for the experimenters, the validity of out-of-body projection and 
remote viewing. Everyone has this ability and can demonstrate it to 
herself. It is not uncommon for individuals to have the experience of 
floating above their bodies or passing through a wall in full conscious- 
ness. The experiences of patients on the operating table who observe 
their operations and remember all that is said and done while floating in 
their astral bodies is a well documented example of this. These are all 
projection experiences, not unlike the contact that humans make with 
entities that have dropped their physical bodies and operate from their 
astral shells, the same body that we use while in the dream state or 
when projecting to another place or time. All of these experiences 
occur within the time-space continuum in which we live and are part of 
this construct. We shall see in later chapters that this construct is not as 
real and concrete as we commonly assume. 


I became adept at projecting and identifying occurrences at a dis- 
tant location during a period of being bed-ridden and virtually blind. 
With no television or books to distract me, I began testing my abilities 
at projection, the subject of several books I had been reading. ^s In a 
relaxed state, I imagined my office but forced my awareness away from 
memory of it. I also separated remote images from what my mind 
wanted to establish, from memory and logic, about what should bQ hap- 
pening there. It took some doing, but after many attempts, I became 
proficient at this form of projection, and I continue to use it when trav- 
eling abroad. Of course, this ability carries with it the spiritual and 
moral obligation not to invade the space of another, without their 
knowledge and consent. This is a violation of spiritual law, which car- 
ries karmic consequences, as all acts do. 

The point here is that a master, adept at the art of projection or the 
equal art of perception, may know the condition of a chela without 
being there. But it requires the person in the physical to focus attention 
on that person or particular circumstance, before the images come to 
conscious awareness. It would take more than twenty-four hours a day 
for a master to support thousands of chelas around the globe this way. 
Thus, while it is possible, it is not practicable. 

This is why Sawan Singh (an acquaintance of Faqir Chand) knew 
of no involvement in the lives of his chelas, though he did concede it 
was possible. Instead, Sawan Singh postulated the "astral double the- 
ory" to explain how a master could be with his chelas at all times. He 
suggested that, at initiation, the master creates an astral double within 
the inner space of the chela. This double, presumably, was the entity 
that looked over the chela and reported back as needed. My problem 
here is that the master is again taking credit for something entirely 
under the chela's control. It is the result of an inner connection that has 
been established by the student, in the same manner as described in my 
experiences with various correspondents. 

When an initiation occurs, with all its ritualistic flare, the connec- 
tion is even stronger, for it is a marriage of sorts. The individual opens 
his inner space and establishes a bond of trust and love with the master. 
Through this bond, the image of the master is given effect and presence 
in the life of the chela. But it is not the master creating the astral double. 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 273 

Each individual controls his own inner world — the world of imagina- 
tion and visualization. If we see it with our outer eyes and then imagine 
it, we are apt to experience it in our inner space. This can occur in the 
dream state or during controlled projection. 

This is why masters encourage followers to keep their image close 
at hand. They are instructed to look at the image frequently and keep 
attention on the master. Masters know that the stronger the image 
planted by outer vision and inner thoughts, the stronger will be their 
influence in the life of the chela. This can have a positive effect. A mas- 
ter is held in high regard and his image evokes positive thoughts that 
bring love and joy to the lives of his followers. This is especially true 
for someone who lacks self-confidence or is having a particularly diffi- 
cult time of it in life. Faqir Chand provides an important perspective on 
this point: 

He who gives . . . [love, affection, and belief] to others gains himself. 
So, it is the belief of the people that benefits them. I do not do anything. 
Their faith and belief in me brings their cherished fruit to them. It is not 
"I" who manifests myself to them.^'' 

In Eckankar, the "greatest exercise" is sitting in silence, staring at 
the face of the master, while chanting the sacred name of God, HU.^o 
This strengthens the image of the master within the inner space of the 
chela. This phenomenon occurs with anything that one focuses atten- 
tion on for extended periods of time. It is enhanced when the object of 
that focus is held in high spiritual or personal regard. Even knowing the 
bogus claims of Eckankar masters, they function in the lives of their 
chelas in the same manner as the greatest Radhasoami, Christian, Bud- 
dhist, or Muslim saints. Why is this so? Faqir Chand explains it very 

Patanjali, the great sage, has written in his book on Yoga that if you can- 
not do any inward practice then at least contemplate on the holy form of 
a Perfect Man. 

Now the question is, where would you search for a Perfect Man? I say 
that wherever or in whomsoever you have faith, think that He is a Per- 
fect Man and Omnipotent [and] your purpose shall be served. If my 
form [or any other] manifests itself and helps those who have faith in 
me, then the form of other gurus also manifests themselves to their dis- 
ciples and helps them. 


Leave aside the Saints, [ij] you put a wicked and immoral person on the 
seat of a Guru, [and] develop faith in him, his form too shall manifest 
and help you like the manifested form of great Saints. You are not helped 
by any Saint or Guru, but by your own faith and belief ^'^ 

The images of Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad or the Living Eck Master 
are all powerful and effective. No one symbol or picture is more power- 
ful than another, because the power does not derive from the picture, 
person, or object. The power lies entirely in the belief that one image is 
more powerful than another. 

Bilocation and other seemingly miraculous events occur everyday 
of our lives. Healings, instant manifestations, and other events are also 
part of the life of the true believer. But what seems to be constantly 
missed, even by those who manifest these miracles, is that the power 
lies within them and is activated by belief and acceptance. The low 
self-esteem and low self-belief evident in most people cause an almost 
uniform feeling that something or someone else makes their destiny. 
Belief in outer circumstances determining reality shapes most people's 
lives. They think that they are powerless to control or even influence 
these forces. The truth is just the opposite. Outer realities are shaped by 
what we accept and know as truth. By accepting the premise that our 
lives are the effect of outer circumstances, we plant this false paradigm 
in our consciousness and our lives out-picture accordingly. 

No one denies the beneficial effect a master may have on a fol- 
lower. What is objected to here is a master's use of the belief of their 
followers to enhance their own images, while remaining silent about 
the role the student is playing in the process. It is the spiritual energy 
and belief constructs of the faithful that always make things happen. 
Here are the words of Baba Faqir Chand: 

People say that my form manifests to them and helps them in solving 
their worldly as well as mental problems, but I do not go anywhere nor 
do I know anything about such miraculous instances. 

When I adopted this path of life, I had pledged that I would follow this 
path with Truth and shall speak to the world my realization of this path. 

His Holiness had directed me, "Faqir, change the mode of preaching 
before abandoning this mortal frame." 

Which teachings should I change? The change is, "O man, your real 
helper is your own Self and your own Faith, but you are badly mistaken 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 275 

and believe that somebody from without comes to help you. . . . This 
entire game is that of your impressions and suggestions which are 
ingrained upon your mind through your eyes and ears and of your Faith 
and Belief" This is the change that I am ordained to bring about. 

I fearlessly proclaim and appeal to the present gurus of the religious 
world that either they should contradict what I say, or they should speak 
out the truth that they too do not manifest themselves to their respective 
devotees. If they too are sailing in the same boat in which I sail, then 
why do they keep their poor devotees in the dark and exploit them? 

Ignorant masses are advised to get initiated, for they shall be led to 
heavens by their guru after their death. Had many of the present gurus 
not confessed to me that they too remain unaware about their manifesta- 
tion [inner and outer appearance before their chelas] I would have 
thought that I am in the wrong. ^2 

Baba Faqir Chand exited this world in 1981, having left behind the 
confessions of a true God-seeker, who had discovered the truth and was 
honest enough to cast aside the sacred veils of mastership. He revealed 
truths that few if any masters would admit even to themselves. He 
stands alone among Radhasoami masters, if not masters in general, for 
his honesty and candor. With miracles exploding around him and fol- 
lowers proclaiming his divinity, he stepped back and dismissed the glo- 
rification. Instead, he told the truth of truths, that we alone perform the 
miracles. We do the work of the masters, while they take the credit. 

At long last, we come to an understanding of the proper role of a 
master. First, we must abandon the term "master," except when we use 
it as self-mastery or mastery of our own inner and outer universe. But 
having acknowledged this, are people thereby empowered to take 
responsibility for their own spiritual development? Probably not, for 
most people are short on self-belief and even shorter on understanding 
their power. It is the need for guidance that is perverted into glorifica- 
tion or deification of masters. This is a large part of the mystique of 
Radhasoami, Yoga, and Julian Johnson's Path of the Masters. This 
book has done more in the western world to exalt, deify, and establish 
masters as the quintessential need of the God-seeker than any other 
book. It only leads the individual into a trap from which he must 
escape. It is in many ways a siren call leading to a place where caution 
is the better alternative. 


The Power of Belief 

People need guidance and want to believe more than anything else. 
This desire is one of the strongest and more profound needs that we 
have as humans. It immediately opens our inner floodgates to an 
expression of emotional, psychic, and love energy that can be both 
dynamic and frightening. We have but to remember our first experience 
of falling in love to recall the magic and vulnerability that we experi- 
enced. When that love went south, as young love invariably does, we 
are heartbroken and physically ill. In fact, our first encounter with 
betrayal probably occurred during a romance, and it likely left a lasting 
impression. We were slow to open our hearts again, fearing loss of con- 
trol and ensuing pain. For many, it is precisely this fear that leads us to 
other forms of belief and surrender. 

There is an intrinsic need to believe and surrender. We are made up 
this way. We experience the totality of life only by allowing ourselves 
to believe in and surrender to something. This has deep implications. 
We are God-souls in training. We occupy our physical shells only 
because we need to learn our awesome powers in an environment with 
room for error and time for correction. We move at the forgiving 
rhythms of the physical universe, learning to control these powers and 
keep them in check. Thought, imagination, belief, and emotion are the 
tools of God with which this and other universes have been formed. 
With them, we create our lives and, collectively, the world in which we 
live. With them, we create our heavens and our gods. We are the cre- 
ators of all of this. We have these abilities but do not realize it. 

Those who understand this truth adjust their belief systems to tap 
the infinite power within. When this is achieved, the individual comes 
to believe, or rather, to know, that she is not only part of the whole, but 
capable of being one with the whole. She can then speak for the whole, 
for she has surrendered to it and become one with it. Every savior and 
saint is able to say, "I and the father are one." Jesus is purported to have 
seen this reality and spoken from this state of consciousness. ^3 1, too, 
have ventured into this level of belief and experienced its awesome 
power. If it sounds false to proclaim such an experience, then your 
doubt suggests the real barrier to your spiritual unfoldment. Even Jesus 
is reputed to have said, "deeds greater than these ye shall do." He 

Sant Mat, Radhasoami, and the Myth of the Master 277 

would not have been deprecating himself by these words. Rather, he 
would have been announcing to the world that he was not the exclusive 
incarnation of this ideal. Deeds greater than these we shall do, if we 
have the courage to cross into this region of belief and knowingness 
and tap the potential in us. Tapping this potential becomes all the more 
important when we discover the fragile underpinnings of spiritual truth 
found in world religions. In many ways, they too have usurped the 
inherent responsibility of soul, the higher self, and shifted the focus to 
dogma, ritual, relics and monuments that keep followers searching the 
past for traces of the God-reality. Ultimately, soul can progress only so 
far under a religious regime, for religions by their very nature place an 
intercessor — Jesus, Buddha, Mahanta, etc. — between soul and the 
goal of the God-seeker; to know the ONE. 

Chapter 12 — Holy Books and the Sixteen 
Crucified Saviors 

In uncovering the devices used by Paul Twitchell to create Eckan- 
kar, I was struck by similarities to those used by the Church in creating 
its doctrine and dogma. A closer look at the origins of Christianity is 
useful to illustrate how tenuous is the undergirding of one of the most 
powerful religions in the world. It also illustrates the many techniques 
and devices that Paul Twitchell used, which paralleled those used by 
the Church Fathers. Whether Paul knew about this history and actively 
copied it in the formulation of Eckankar is not known. But as we will 
see, the similarities are striking. 

This review is instructive because it is indicative of the origins of 
every religion that has at its center a mythical or historical figure whose 
life has taken on God-like proportions. The stories and myths that 
evolved have shaped their rituals and dogma. Indeed, most religions 
have become ritualistic recapitulations of their own history surrounded 
by pomp and circumstance. An emphasis on ceremony and ritual is 
designed to evoke emotions and reinforce the institution's belief struc- 
ture. But these practices have little to do with transcendent truth and 
virtually nothing to do with the inner search that is indispensable to the 
quest of the God-seeker. 

That religious practices are vital to the life of its followers is unde- 
niable. But, as pointed out earlier, religions are classrooms in an eternal 
process of expanding awareness. Yet many religions purport to control 
access to heaven if not to God itself; otherwise excommunication or its 
equivalent would have no impact. Presenting the fragile foundations of 
truth that underlie these teachings is not intended to demean their 
importance in spiritual unfoldment. Nor is it intended to suggest that 
they do not carry positive principles and lessons. Rather, a closer look 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 279 

at the truth of these teachings is part of a process that leads to spiritual 
awakening, which, in turn, leads to spiritual growth. Everyone must at 
some point break through the "Santa Claus Effect," the deliberate with- 
holding of truth by a religion or society in the belief, perhaps well 
intended, that the faithful are not ready for it, or are happier and prefer 
living under illusion. However, unlike the Santa Claus myth, silence 
about certain religious truths has gone on for millennia. Religions, 
then, have become resting points of safety and security on the road to 
spiritual unfoldment, which, unfortunately have also discouraged or 
even forbade departure. The seeker must use other means to ascertain 
the truth about himself as soul and his awe-inspiring heritage as a spark 
of God. The keepers of the secret will not tell him, if by now they even 
remember themselves. 

Old Testament Controversies 

Debate over the origins of the Bible has been on going for centu- 
ries. So vigorous was the criticism at times that the field of Christian 
Apologetics arose to counter numerous assaults on the integrity, 
authenticity, and veracity of the Bible. Discovery of the true origins of 
the Bible does not diminish the value of its insights, though it has 
dimmed the light shone on many Old and New Testament stories. Reli- 
gious scholars working within a fixed paradigm undertook the search 
for historical truth. But religious paradigms have so many layers of 
orthodoxy, dogma, and ritual that even the acknowledgement of a truth 
leaves the seeker only somewhat closer to higher truth, if at all. 

An example of this is seen in attempts to resolve the centuries-old 
debate of whether the first five books of the Bible (Genesis, Exodus, 
Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, often referred to as the Pen- 
tateuch or the Torah) were actually written by Moses. Belief in his 
authorship was and is so strong that one would think that the entire 
faith hinged on its validity. In spite of obvious inconsistencies that sug- 
gest Moses did not write these books, the orthodoxy prevailed: 

People observed contradictions in the text [Bible]. ... It would describe 
Moses as going to a Tabernacle in a chapter before Moses builds the 
Tabernacle. People also noticed that the Five Books of Moses included 
things that Moses could not have known or was not likely to have said. 
The text, after all, gave an account of Moses' death. It also said that 
Moses was the humblest man on earth; and normally one would not 


expect the humblest man on earth to point out that he is the humblest 
man on earth. ^ 

The debate raged for more than six hundred years, with few schol- 
ars brave enough to question the obvious. In more recent years, the 
weight of orthodoxy has lifted somewhat from the backs of scholars 
and truth seekers. The new and more widely held view is that the "Five 
Books of Moses had been composed by combining four different 
source documents into one continuous history. "^ Eureka! After centu- 
ries, the debate was resolved, at least for the open-minded investigator. 
But the movement to truth through the refinement of orthodoxy 
remained an exercise in pedantry. The truth seeker was still focused on 
events of past millennia. He searched in the shadows of history to dis- 
cover the reality of God that was and is within, always here and now. 
Old Testament controversy continues at an unprecedented rate, with 
challenges to the authenticity and veracity of most other books of the 
Bible. Indeed, there is increasing evidence that many parts of the Old 
Testament have their origins in the stories and myths of Egyptian cul- 
ture. ^ 

New Testament Controversies 

The idea of the Bible as the word of God has evolved among many 
Christians to a more enlightened and historically accurate view that 
recognizes the labors of the men who actually wrote it.^ What is most 
remarkable about this late recognition is the extent to which early 
Church leaders and scholars labored to deny or suppress the truth about 
the origins of the Bible and the history of Jesus. As we will see, truth 
was not their concern. Defense of orthodoxy was the motivation, and 
anyone who questioned it was branded a heretic or worse. However, 
the accounts of Jesus contained in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, 
Luke, and John were viewed with great skepticism if not incredulity 
from earliest times. In fact, the first three Gospels, often called the Syn- 
optic Gospels,^ were so similar in content as to likely have been drawn 
from each other. Indeed, some scholars have maintained that they are 
plagiarisms, so similar is each version. «5 But even as alleged plagia- 
risms, there are numerous contradictions in the portrayal of various sto- 
ries of the life of Christ.^ No less a personage than St. Augustine (354- 
430) expressed the view: 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 281 

I would not believe the Gospels to be true, unless the authority of the 
Catholic Church constrained [forced] me.^ 

Well, it did! He was not alone in his incredulity. The Gospels con- 
tained so many inconsistencies and parallels to each other and to other 
religious martyrs that, as early as 160-200, Church leaders were ques- 
tioning stories of the life of Jesus that were appearing, for the first time, 
more than 120 years^ (some say forty to seventy years i°) after the pur- 
ported death of Jesus in 33. One such Church Father labored to defend 
the faith from "pagan" criticism that claimed his new religion to be a 

Understanding their criticism about religious fabrication, yet hold- 
ing to his belief in the divinity of Jesus the Christ and the Gospels, 
Father Tertullian, an early Christian theologian and polemicist, in an 
oft-quoted passage, used a rather extraordinary form of reverse logic to 
defend his faith. In it, he also seemed to be acknowledging the obvious 
questions raised by the historical anomalies in the story of Jesus the 
Christ. His statement "Credo quia incredibilis est"" ("I believe 
because it is unbelievable") is interesting enough, but he amplified it: 

[T]he Son of God was bom; why am I not ashamed of maintaining such 
a thing? Why! but because it is itself a shameful thing. I maintain that 
the Son of God died: well, that is wholly credible because it is mon- 
strously absurd. I maintain that after having been buried, he rose again: 
and that I take to be absolutely true, because it was manifestly impossi- 

The charge that the Church had fabricated the stories contained in 
the Gospels, indeed the Gospels themselves, was made during the early 
years of Christianity. The charge had considerable gravity because 
there existed no written historical record of the life of Jesus cotermi- 
nous with the years he is said to have lived and taught. This situation 
prevailed in spite of Church efforts, with varying degrees of success, to 
create documents establishing such a record. ^^ In spite of this known 
deficiency and more than 125 years later, there appeared, in a series of 
writings to be called the Gospels, a story so powerful and profound 
that, if it occurred, it would surely have been known and extensively 
recorded by historians and scribes of the period. But it was not! 

Was this the reason for Father Tertullian's strange flight of reverse 
logic? Was this the basis for Augustine's declaration that he would not 


believe in the Gospels except if the Church forced him to? What did 
these early thinkers know or suspect that the religious leaders and fol- 
lowers of today are oblivious to, have forgotten, or actively suppress? 
Why was there such skepticism about early Church efforts to piece 
together the story of Jesus? The answers to these questions are as 
enlightening to the truth seeker as they are disturbing to the true 
believer. They tell of a period in Church history that goes to the very 
heart of the truth about its doctrine and dogma. Even as it demonstrates 
the dangers of constructing a belief system on the zealous writings of 
true believers who intentionally invented or borrowed stories from his- 
tory, it also confirms the power of such a belief system to impact the 
lives of millions, irrespective of the provenance or veracity of the story 
behind it. 

In many ways, the history of the Gospels and their acceptance par- 
allels the creation of Eckankar doctrine derived from the stories put 
forth by its founder, who also saw himself as the "Son of God." Both 
teachings sustain themselves not on the genuineness of their founders 
or the authenticity of stories that grew around them, but on the unques- 
tioning acceptance of these stories. It is faith and belief that bring the 
stories to life and provide the spiritual energy on which inner experi- 
ences and modem-day miracles abound. 

As I delved deeper into the mystery of the Gospels, I wanted to 
know who actually wrote them. Why was nothing written about Jesus 
during his life? Why were the Gospels named after disciples (two of 
them anyway) if they didn't write them? These and other questions 
were of particular interest to me for I found many similarities between 
the early history of Christianity and of the one Paul Twitchell created 
for Eckankar. Had Paul and his successors had the benefit of even sev- 
eral hundred years between Eckankar 's formation and the present, the 
stories relayed in earlier chapters of this book might have been lost to 
modem investigators. Instead, revelations about Eckankar came during 
its formative stages. We can see who Paul Twitchell really was and how 
he built defenses for the challenges that lay ahead. 

In this respect, the Eckankar leadership of today is in an even more 
difficult position than the Church founders. They had to explain and 
defend stories about a person for whom there were no records, only an 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 283 

oral tradition. The appearance of Jesus in later Christian writings 
resembles that of Sudar Singh of Eckankar lore about fifty years after 
Paul alleges to have first encountered him. However, unlike the 
Church, Eckankar must defend a person about whom there does exist a 
traceable history and written record, albeit, one that does not stand up 
to scrutiny. 

Parallels between the histories of both religions are fascinating and 
instructive. To those in the new religion of Eckankar still concerned 
with the truth, they show how important it is to reveal the unvarnished 
story to the world, so that the dust of history does not hide the truth. For 
the Christian believer (I was once one), it sheds light on the intrinsic 
truth of the teaching and the motivations and intentions of Church 
Fathers vis-a-vis their followers. For those who wish to know this truth, 
the broad outlines of what happened are presented here with enough 
references to permit a more in-depth study. 

The Early Role of the Church in the Formulation of the Gospels 
and Christianity 

It appears that the Church encouraged the creation of writings that 
set the story of Jesus in the desired historic and eschatological context. 
Perhaps the greatest confusion regarding the Gospels is over whether 
Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote them. Assigning authorship to 
four of Jesus' followers was intended to convey to the faithful that they 
were written during the time Jesus walked the Holy Land. Ascribing 
false authorship to a particular writing was common practice in the 
early Church. It was known as pseudepigraphy, a practice we will con- 
sider in more detail. However, most modern scholars agree that the 
Gospels did not appear on the scene or have any mention in literature 
until forty to one hundred twenty-five years after the death of Jesus. 
Views about the authenticity of these early documents range from more 
strident and incredulous positions such as: 

Although they are held up by true believers to be the "inspired" works 
of the apostles, the canonical gospels were forged at the end of the 2 
century, all four of them probably between 170-180, a date that just hap- 
pens to correspond with the establishment of the orthodoxy and suprem- 
acy of the Roman Church. Despite the claims of apostolic authorship, 
the gospels were not mere translations of manuscripts written in Hebrew 


or Aramaic by Jewish apostles, because they were originally written in 
Greek. 14 

Other views on the matter reflect a more supportive though not 
inconsistent view of the origins. Paula Fredrikseni^ writes: 

What then must be borne in mind when reading the canonical gospels 
for historical information about Jesus of Nazareth? First, the impression 
of orderliness conveyed by their connected narratives should not 
deceive us about their true nature: these are composite documents, the 
final products of long and creative traditions in which old material was 
reworked and new material interpolated. As they now stand, they are 
witness first of all to the faith of their individual writers and their late 
first-century, largely Gentile communities. Only at a distance do they 
relate to the people and the period they purport to describe.... [T]he gos- 
pels are theological proclamation, not historical biography.... Second, 
we must remember that forty to seventy years stand between the public 
career and death of Jesus of Nazareth and the probable dates of compo- 
sition of the gospels. 1^ 

Admitting the unreliability of the oral tradition of Jesus, Fredriksen 
acknowledges that Christian scholars must stick to the written record 
about Jesus. However, Fredriksen fails to address the issue of the reli- 
ability of these written documents in light of the Church's avowed pro- 
gram of creating a written record establishing the historical and 
spiritual continuity of Jesus. She uses euphemisms to convey a faint 
picture of the Church's involvement in the creation of the Gospels such 
as "composite documents," "long and creative traditions," and "old 
material . . . reworked and new material interpolated." But euphemisms 
obscure the extent of the Church's involvement in creating the Gospels. 

To uncover this part of the story, we must go back to the time of the 
Gospel's creation and see the practices of Church Fathers in formulat- 
ing the story. When the unvarnished picture of the Church's role in cre- 
ating the history of Jesus is seen, the integrity of the New Testament 
and Church doctrine must be reconsidered. From this perspective, the 
inherent flaws in the writings of today's Christian scholars, who look to 
the Gospels as proof of the reality of Jesus, are exposed. These writings 
are almost exclusively based on accepting as wholly true the testimony 
of the Gospels, when it is the very truthfulness and credibility of the 
Gospels that is in question. A close examination of the Gospels and 
how they were created exposes a vulnerability that renders them 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 285 

impeachable. This is a weakness at which scholars such as Fredriksen 
will only hint. 

Pseudepigraphy, Pious Fraud, and the Greatest Story Ever Told 

This discussion portrays a general atmosphere and philosophy that 
permeated the thinking and actions of Church Fathers from the earliest 
periods when the different versions of the Gospels were first formu- 
lated to centuries thereafter. For once the Gospels were canonized, the 
efforts of later Church Fathers were directed at reinforcing this 
anointed version of the story. This called for additional tales and myths 
to stimulate and strengthen the belief of the faithful. 

It was essential for the Church to create stories around the exist- 
ence of a personage that many, by that time, had accepted as real. What 
difference did it make? He was no longer around, and, in any event, 
only the memory and stories of his existence survived. If real stories 
did not exist, then it was possible, indeed necessary, to create stories 
appropriate for one who would become the Christ. And what if Jesus 
the Christ was a myth? Were there not other religions whose deities 
were regarded as myths, yet were no less powerful and effective once 
followers believed? To this point, the famous lecturer and Christian 
scholar, M. M. Mangasarian argues: 

And to the question that if Jesus be mythical, we cannot account for the 
rise and progress of the Christian church, we answer that the Pagan gods 
who occupied Mount Olympus were all mythical beings — mere shad- 
ows, and yet Paganism was the religion of the most advanced and cul- 
tured nations of antiquity. . . . [I]f the worship of Adonis, of Attis, of 
Isis, and the legends of Heracles, Prometheus, Hercules, and the Hindu 
trinity, — Brahma, Shiva, Chrishna, — with their rock-hewn temples, 
can be explained without believing in the actual existence of these gods 
— why not Christianity? ^^ 

What is remarkable about this is that the Church actually encour- 
aged the creation of myths around Jesus. It was necessary to elaborate 
on a story that was active but sparse on details. No one actually knew 
what Jesus said or did. It is this void into which "pious fraud"is rushed, 
a practice sanctioned by the Church during the first centuries of its 
existence. The Church encouraged or at least accepted "divinely 
inspired" accounts of the life of Jesus, which were falsely attributed to 
Biblical figures, a practice called pseudepigraphy. i^' Nevertheless, 


these were inspired writers who beheved they were serving a holy end. 
Nor was the pious fraud limited to writings. It also encompassed the 
forgery, creation, and presentation of objects and artifacts supposedly 
associated with Jesus. The reason was simple. The more detail that 
could be created, the easier it would be to convince the faithful of the 
reality of the Savior. Aside from misdirecting the attention of the 
devoted to objects and artifacts for spiritual succor, these misleading 
objects, the fruits of pious fraud, continue to emerge in later millennia 
to challenge the authentication skills of science and to rejuvenate the 
leaf of the faithful . 

To better understand this phenomenon, which would be scandalous 
if practiced today, we must understand the thinking of the early Church 
as it attempted to keep the faithful in thrall and counter the criticisms of 
pagan antagonists. Joseph Wheless notes: 

[S]uch frauds of the Church were not confined to the Middle Ages; they 
begin even with the beginning of the Church and infest every period of 
its history for fifteen hundred years and defile nearly every document, 
both of "Scriptures" and of Church aggrandizement. As truly said by 
Collins. . . 

In short, these frauds are very common in all books which are published 
by priests or priestly men. . . . For it is certain they may plead the 
authority of the Fathers for Forgery, Corruption and mangling of 
Authors, with more reason than for any of their Articles of Faith"^° 

It is hard to imagine that the Church would engage in outright 
fraud, albeit based in piety, but it was not seen in this light, even though 
it would clearly be seen so today. Whatever was necessary to convince 
an audience or to keep the articles of faith alive could be done in the 
name of salvation. When stories didn't fit, they were blended to make 
them fit. Several statements of early Church leaders further illustrate 
this point. Bishop Eusebius of Caesarea, the great "Father of Church 
History" (ca. 324) was considered by many as one of the most ardent 
practitioners of pious fraud. Of his early participation in the establish- 
ment of Church doctrine, it is written: 

Bishop Eusebius, as we shall see, was one of the most prolific forgers 
and liars of his age of the Church .... To such an extent had the "pious 
frauds of the theologians been thus early systematized and raised to the 
dignity of a regular doctrine,'' that Bishop Eusebius, "in one of the most 
learned and elaborate works that antiquity has left us, the Thirty-second 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 287 

Chapter of the Twelfth Book of his Evangelical Preparation, bears for 
its title this scandalous proposition: 'How it may be Lawful and Fitting 
to use Falsehood as a Medicine, and for the Benefit of those who Want 
to be Deceived. '"^^ 

Sharing Eusebius's Machiavellian view was St. John Chrysostom, 
who, in his On the Priesthood, advised his fellow clergy: 

Great is the force of deceit! provided it is not excited by a treacherous 
intention. 22 

I did a triple-take when I encountered this passage. It sounds like the 
credo of someone who lies to us for our own good. But to be an active 
practitioner of deceit and to proclaim its power, even endorse its use, so 
long as intentions are good, is a startling statement coming from a 
Christian saint. Acknowledging the penchant of early Church leaders 
to stretch the truth in their zeal to make all things right in the name of 
God, Cardinal Newman, commenting on this rather extraordinary piece 
of advice from St. John Chrysostom, said: 

The Greek Fathers thought that, when there was ajusta causa, an 
untruth need not be a lie.... Now, as to the just cause,... the Greek 
Fathers make them such as these — self-defense, charity, zeal for God's 
honour, and the like.^^ 

This is surely magic, for Cardinal Newman has miraculously trans- 
muted "deceit without treachery" into an untruth that "need not be a 
lie." Another commentator on the practice, the Great Latin Father St. 
Jerome (c. 340-420), asserted: 

To confute the opposer, now this argument is adduced and not that. One 
argues as one pleases, saying one thing while one means another.... Ori- 
gen, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinaris write at great length.... Con- 
sider how subtle are the arguments, how insidious the engines with 
which they overthrow what the spirit of the devil has wrought. Some- 
times, it is true, they are compelled to say not what they think but what 
is needful. ...^"^ 

In case the good saint's position isn't clear, he is arguing that it is 
acceptable to lie if necessary to overthrow the position of the devil, a 
justification that could be easily broadened to condone "overthrowing" 
anyone who disagrees with the Church. While explaining the rationale 
for pious fraud, Jerome implicates the greatest writers and religious 
historians of the day, Origen, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinaris, in 


this practice. Obviously, these musings were troubhng, even to Church 
Fathers of the day, for, in reference to Eusebius and the others men- 
tioned above, he observes that they: 

[PJresume at the price of their soul to assert dogmatically whatever first 
comes into their head.^^^ 

And in a final startling note of honesty, he appears to express contempt 
for the gullibility of early Christian communities: 

There is nothing so easy as by sheer volubility to deceive a common 
crowd or an uneducated congregation. ^^^ 

The Catholic Encyclopedia acknowledges the prevalence of this 

Enterprising spirits responded to this natural craving by pretended gos- 
pels fiall of romantic fables, and fantastic and striking details; their fabri- 
cations were eagerly read and accepted as true by common folk who 
were devoid of any critical faculty and who were predisposed to believe 
what so luxuriously fed their pious curiosity. Both Catholics and Gnos- 
tics were concerned in writing these fictions. T\\q former had no motive 
other than that of a pious fraud. ^^ 

This disdain for truth, unless it served the ends of the Church, was the 
rule of the day. It colored everything that was written, said, and done 
from the earliest days of the Church's founding and for centuries there- 

But the practice of pious fraud was particularly virulent during the 
first four centuries when the foundations of the Church were laid. 
Nothing was as important as filling the void left by the absence of a 
written history or records on the life of Jesus. Church Fathers were 
given a free hand to invent and embellish whatever stories were neces- 
sary to sustain the Church and its following. And invent they did! St. 
Jerome,28 who played a significant role in the translation and revisions 
to the Gospels, was also notable in this regard and actively demon- 
strated his attitude about the credulity of his audiences when he propa- 
gated such divine pearls as: 

• The River Ganges has its source in Paradise. 

• In India, there are mountains of gold that men cannot 
approach because of the dragons and huge monsters that 
haunt them. 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 289 

• And his grandest tale of all in which he recounts the story 
of the 1 13-year-old hermit, Paulus, who had lived in a hole 
in the ground in a remote part of the desert for sixty years. 
In an inner revelation, he was shown the neighboring hole 
(four days away) of another hermit, St. Anthony, who was 
only ninety years old. Paulus set about to visit his neighbor 
and encountered several strange animals, including a half- 
horse, half-man, and other strange beasts know as Fauns, 
Satyrs, and Incubi. They conversed about the salvation of 
the lord. The good Father Jerome admonished the congre- 
gation, "Let no one scruple to believe this incident. . . . [I]ts 
truth is supported by [the fact that] one of those crea- 
tures... was captured and brought alive to Alexandria and 
sent embalmed to the emperor at Antioch.''^^ 

The story was apparently told in such convincing detail and with 
such startling proof that communities became convinced. Such was the 
practice of pious "prevarication" to communities or to anyone else if it 
was necessary to strengthen belief in the Church and Jesus. On this 
matter, Mangasarian states: 

The church historian Mosheim, writes that, "The Christian Fathers 
deemed it a pious act to employ deception and fraud.". . . The greatest 
and most pious teachers were nearly all of them infected with this lep- 
rosy. Will not some believer tell us why forgery and fraud were neces- 
sary to prove the historicity of Jesus?. . . Another historian, Milman 
writes that, "Pious fraud was admitted and avowed by the early mission- 
aries of Jesus." "It was an age of literary frauds," writes Bishop Ellicott, 
speaking of the times immediately following the alleged crucifixion of 
Jesus. Dr. Giles declares that, "There can be no doubt that great numbers 
of books were written with no other purpose than to deceive." And it is 
the opinion of Dr. Robertson Smith that, "There was an enormous float- 
ing mass of spurious literature created to suit party views. "^° 

Pious fraud had gotten so out of hand, infecting everything in the 
name of Jesus and the Church, that Augustine wrote a treatise 
addressed to the clergy entitled De Mendacio (On Lying, ca. 395), fol- 
lowed twenty-five years later by a second treatise. Contra Mendacium 
(Against Lying) — it always sounds more holy in Latin. These treatises 
rebuked the clergy for its fraud, but their main point wasn't nearly so 
high-minded. His principal concern was the deleterious impact lying 


was having on the Church. In fact, Augustine's treatise was, according 
to Bishop Wordsworth: 

[A] protest against these "pious frauds" which have brought discredit 
and damage on the cause of the Gospel, and have created prejudice 
against it, from the days of Augustine to our times. ^^ 

Augustine was against lying, even if used to trap a heretic: 

It is more pernicious for Catholics to lie that they may catch heretics, 
than for heretics to lie that they may not be found out by Catholics. ^^ 

In an atmosphere permeated by pious fraud, such that Augustine 
found it necessary to issue his admonition against lying for a second 
time, it was notable that someone stood up against the practice of lying. 
However, Augustine does not come right out and declare a moratorium 
on lying. Instead, he declares that the priesthood should live by a higher 
standard than heretics. This was a step in the right direction, even 
though truth was still not a full partner in the religious practice of the 
day. This is evident in the position taken by Augustine on the Church 
policy of suppressio veri. He argued in support of this policy of sup- 
pressing or concealing the truth for the sake of Christian instruction. 
This practice of shielding the faithful from the truth in order to encour- 
age belief in the doctrine and dogma of the Church is practiced to this 
day, as the Church has never disavowed it. On this point, Augustine 

It is lawful, then, either to him that discourses, disputes, and preaches of 
things eternal, or to him that narrates or speaks of things temporal per- 
taining to edification of religion or piety, to conceal at fitting times 
whatever seems fit to be concealed; but to tell a lie is never lawful, 
therefore neither to conceal by telling a lie.^^ 

Augustine was sanctioning concealment of any information, at any 
time and in any situation, if deemed appropriate by the clergy. Such 
concealment was deemed acceptable provided no lie was told to effect 
concealment. There was obviously no consideration of the standard 
that to conceal the truth was to mislead, thus to knowingly foster a lie, 
that is, a belief in something other than the truth. 

This practice of concealment, which is only today being exposed, 
constitutes and evinces what I have termed the Santa Claus Effect: 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 291 

A state of belief or practice created and/or fostered by the active ongo- 
ing propagation of that belief and the simultaneous denial of facts or 
information that might challenge or destroy it, directed to a believer in 
the conviction that they cannot handle the truth at that time; or to perpet- 
uate the belief in the patronizing opinion that it is in their best interest; 
or because it is in the best interest of the propagator. 

When adults create or foster a story for the fun and enjoyment of their 
children, or convey a truth with euphemisms (such as the birds and the 
bees), that is one thing. But parents function as surrogates for spirit in 
whose care we are all ultimately entrusted. Even with such noble inten- 
tions, the child still feels a sense of betrayal upon learning the truth. But 
to exercise such control over an adult and intentionally withhold the 
truth is a violation of trust and is reprehensible. 

As it turns out, St. Augustine should have included himself in some 
of his admonishments about lying, for he too told extravagant tales to 
hold an audience and enhance the power of the Church. In one notable 
example, he apparently couldn't resist a good story, even if he had to 
invent it: 

I was already Bishop of Hippo,^^ when I went into Ethiopia with some 
servants of Christ there to preach the Gospel. In this country we saw 
many men and women without heads, who had two great eyes in their 
breasts; and in countries still more southly, we saw people who had but 
one eye in their foreheads. ^^ 

Why all this lying was so rampant in the Church is largely a mys- 
tery. Perhaps it was that there was such a dichotomy between the 
Church hierarchy and the masses, that the former saw the latter as chil- 
dren, who needed stories to guide them and keep them in check. Yet, 
even with the greed and societal assertiveness of today, such sanctioned 
lying and deception is hard to conceive. As I read these accounts, they 
would have been even more incredible if I had not uncovered similar 
acts of fraud perpetrated by Paul Twitchell and Eckankar. I had seen 
first-hand how it developed and how leaders would do whatever it took 
to uphold the image of their religion and their positions in it. Neither 
the Church nor Eckankar was concerned with the sea of truth on which 
the boat of their religious teachings floated. Their concern was to keep 
the boat floating and bring aboard more passengers. Those who 
boarded knew nothing of the port from which the ship had sailed or the 


course that had been set. In the eyes of the leaders, they were only the 
faithful; they didn't need to know. 

Creation of the Gospels: The Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, 

and John 

Against the backdrop of creating a history in the name of God, we 
now examine the actual process by which the Gospels^*^ came into 
being. Fredriksen provides some insight on the authenticity of the Gos- 
pels as well as the uniqueness of the events they narrate. She points out 
numerous competing and conflicting writings about the life of Jesus 
that were reviewed and considered for inclusion in the Gospels. Church 
leaders were well aware of the various writings that would compete to 
become the Gospels. They feared that different stories being told in dif- 
ferent places by different clergy would lead to splintering and would 
undermine belief among the faithful. Something had to be done. 
Namely, one or at least a few accounts of "the greatest story ever told," 
had to be selected as the official position of the Church. So, notwith- 
standing the pious fraud and pseudepigraphy that had stimulated the 
creation and copying of the many and varied versions of the Gospels, 
there had to be a winner. Some account of the life of Christ had to be 
selected that would best represent the Church, upon which everything 
else would be built. 

Councils convened to decide which versions would prevail. One 
scholar who examined this period noted: 

Haifa hundred . . . false and forged Apostolic "Gospels of Jesus Christ," 
together with more numerous other "Scripture" forgeries, was the out- 
put, so far as known now, of the . . . first two centuries of the Christian 
"Age of Apocryphal Literature. "^^ 

The unenviable job of making the selection and establishing the canon 
fell to Church Father and Bishop of Lyons, Irenaeus (ca. 120-200), who 
settled on four of these "creative" works. Fredriksen notes: 

[T]he canon . . . represents an attempt [by] one branch of the . . . church 
to produce order, to authorize only some of the growing quantity of 
Christian writings for its members. . . . The four gospels collectively 
stand as the survivors of a process whose principles of selection had 
more to do with competition between different Christian groups than 
with a disinterested concern for history. And once the choice was made. 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 293 

it was perceived and defended in terms persuasive and meaningful to its 
ancient audience. ^^ 

Bishop Irenaeus first had to defend his decision on why he chose only 
four books out of almost fifty versions that were available, to make up 
the Canonical Gospels. The good Bishop provided this arcane explana- 

The Gospels could not possibly be either more or less in number than 
they are. Since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and 
four principal winds, the church . . . fittingly has four pillars, every- 
where breathing out incorruption and revivifying men. From this it is 
clear that the Logos, the artificer of all things, he who sits upon the cher- 
ubim and sustains all things . . . gave us the gospel in four-fold form, but 
held together by one Spirit. . . .^^ 

Thus was the number of Gospels decided. The story of their origins 
is almost lost to today's Christian who generally believes that Matthew, 
Mark, Luke, and John faithfully and laboriously recorded the words 
and actions of Jesus so that the world could hear and know the good 
news. Certainly, there was a great deal of good news in these writings. 
They contained, as do most religious writings, a great deal of truth and 
wisdom drawn from many sources, albeit mixed with pious frauds that 
comprised its many stories. But this account of the writing of the Gos- 
pels is far different from what today's Christians — including the 
clergy — have been led to believe. Fredriksen's observations make it 
clear that historical accuracy about the life of Jesus was not of primary 
concern — or even possible — in the selection of the Gospels. Indeed, 
given the nature of the source documents how could it be? It was all 
created history, written by well-meaning clergy, but based on nothing 
but stories inflated over the years into the stuff of Gods. Fredriksen 
makes it clear that "competition between different Christian groups"4° 
was the rationale for the selection of the chosen books rather than con- 
cern for truth. 

But who didwritQ the Gospels? One clue is found in the language 
in which they were written. The use of Greek as the original language 
of the Gospels is a sign that they were not written by any of Jesus' fol- 
lowers. Why would Jesus' apostles write about the activities of their 
lord and savior in a language that was not indigenous to their land or to 


them? If they were Jewish and spoke Aramaic, why and how could 
they possibly write in the high-Greek style of these works? 

[A] Galilean fisherman could not have written what Kummel calls such 
"cultivated Greek," with "many rhetorical devices," and with all the Old 
Testament quotations and allusions deriving from the Greek version of 
these scriptures, not from the Hebrew original. '^^ 

The noted Christian apologist Norman Geisler glosses over this 
point even as he praises the erudition of Luke for the "high quality of 
the Greek" that he uses in writing the Gospel attributed to him. Jesus 
and his disciples lived and worked in Palestine, yet the authors of the 
Gospels make obvious errors in describing the geography of Pales- 
tine's Why explain to a supposed Jewish audience such details of Jew- 
ish life as "the Pharisees and the Jews in general never eat without 
washing the hands. . . . And there are many other points on which they 
have a traditional rule to maintain. "^3 Obviously, such descriptions 
suggest a foreign writer catering to an audience that understood little 
about the Jews and Palestine. Christian apologists seem unable to 
answer these and many other questions — and for obvious reasons. 

Non-Gospel Sources for Jesus 

There is no corroborating evidence of Jesus' life and works in the 
histories of authentic, disinterested writers. A possible exception can 
be found in the writings of Josephus, which Christian Apologists claim 
contains references to Jesus. Yet these have been found to be forgeries, 
as have all of the early non-Christian historical works attempting to 
establish the existence of Jesus. They were part and parcel of the age of 
pious fraud, an age so tainted by the pious but unethical actions of 
Church Fathers that scholars of today must hide or ignore the practice 
in order to make even a plausible argument of historical validity. There 
is simply no authentic record of the life of Jesus against which the 
Church renditions can even be compared. And while desperately need- 
ing such verification to establish the validity of Church claims, it was 
precisely the absence of such documentation that allowed pious fraud 
to flourish without fear of written historic contradiction. 

We see how priests and writers of the time were inspired and sus- 
tained on stories of the life of Jesus. These stories inspired countless 
inner and outer experiences with Jesus. In time, his reality became 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 295 

unassailable in the minds and hearts of the faithful, just as it is today. 
Truth has little to do with it. Belief alone created it and sustains it. 

Thus, we have, in the case of Jesus and his followers, a person 
about whom there was no historical record yet around whom a mighty 
religion arose. He was reported to have performed public miracles. His 
birth so frightened Herod that he ordered the first-born male child of 
each family killed. He spoke to multitudes and shook up the entire 
region. Yet, somehow, he inspired not one word to be written by any 
historian of the time. And these were times with many chroniclers. One 
such historian, Livy (59 B.C.E.-17 C.E.) wrote more than 104 volumes 
on this period. While many of these volumes were destroyed (purpose- 
fully, some allege), no mention of Jesus can be found in them. One of 
the modem-day writers of this period wrote: "No literate person of his 
own time mentioned him in any known writing. "^^ 

A Jewish historian and philosopher, Philo (20 B. C.E. -50 C.E.), 
similarly wrote nothing about this man who seems to have silently 
passed through, leaving no mark on the written record in spite of the 
historic, even monumental, events that were supposed to have occurred 
during his lifetime. In fact, of the more than forty other historians and 
chroniclers of the period, including Plutarch, the Roman biographer 
(46-120), who lived in the same area where large numbers of Christians 
supposedly lived, no mention was ever made of them, their religion, or 
their founder. Perhaps the strongest commentary on the historical 
validity of Jesus is: 

The fact that no history, sacred or profane, — that not one of the three 
hundred histories of that age, — makes the slightest allusion to Christ, 
or any of the miraculous incidents ingrafted into his life, certainly 
proves, with a cogency that no logic can overthrow, no sophistry can 
contradict, and no honest skepticism can resist, that there never was 
such a miraculously endowed being as his many orthodox disciples 
claim him to have been. 

The fact that Christ finds no place in the history of the era in which he 
lived... settles the conclusion... that the godlike achievements ascribed 
to him are naught but fable or fiction.... It would be a historical anomaly 
without a precedent, that Christ should have performed any of the 
extraordinary acts attributed to him in the Gospels, and no Roman or 
Grecian historian... make the slightest mention of one of them.... Such a 
historical fact banishes the last shadow of faith in their reality.'*^ 


As indicated, even the most famous historian of the period, Jose- 
phus (37-95) appears to have overlooked the extraordinary exploits of 

[I]n the entire works of Josephus, which constitute many volumes of 
great detail encompassing centuries of history, there is no mention of 
Paul or the Christians, and there are only two brief paragraphs that pur- 
port to refer to Jesus. Although much has been made of these "refer- 
ences," they have been dismissed by scholars and Christian apologists 
alike as forgeries, as have been those referring to John the Baptist and 
James, "brother of Jesus." No less an authority than Bishop Warburton 
of Gloucester (1698-1779) labeled the Josephus interpolation regarding 
Jesus "a rank forgery, and a very stupid one, too."^'^ 

Contemporary Support for the Gospels 

Flaws in the arguments of Christian Apologist to prove the validity 
of the life of Jesus by reference to the Gospels are apparent. Failure to 
confront this fundamental problem is the reason why volumes of these 
tainted documents — products of pious fraud and pseudepigraphy — 
continue to be touted as proof of their validity. That these materials 
were produced at the urging or sanction of the church is the historical 
problem that no amount of erudition or evasion can overcome. Yet it is 
scholarship and erudition that are at the center of attempts to turn this 
mountain of pious fraud into faint memories or a bastion of insight and 

To achieve this metamorphosis, rules were developed to aid in 
determining what parts of the Gospels were more authentic than others. 
In other words, how does one distinguish between acceptable pious 
fraud and unreliable pious fraud? These rules of transmutation are 
applied with seeming disregard of the environment, practices, and 
intentions of the Church that have been outlined. 

To ignore this history is to accept a continuing policy of conceal- 
ment rather than to finally confront the truth. But this is precisely what 
has happened. In its stead, scholars have developed a tool for assessing 
the relative reliability of this mountain of dubious data. Here is a com- 
mentary on the basic tenets of that methodology, as summarized by Lee 
Strobel in The Case for Christ, ^^ shorn of the shelter of historical 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 297 

The Intention Test: This test tries to determine, by the language of 
the document, if the writer intends to accurately preserve history. If one 
is engaged in pious fraud for the purpose of convincing opponents and 
adherents of the Church of its validity, any Church Father so inclined 
would make his creation credible. He would record history accurately 
and precisely. Like any good fraud, it works because of a stealthy blend 
of truth and deception. As we have seen, there was a phalanx of priests 
devoted to this end, and they were immensely successful in dodging 
their most ardent opponent — truth. 

The Ability Test: This test takes for granted that the recorder had 
good intentions and asks whether the writer displays the ability to 
remember the information. Given the forty to, more likely, 120-year 
lapse between the supposed death of Jesus and the writing of the Gos- 
pels, this would seem a strange test for apologists to recommend. In 
spite of the stretch of credulity required to advance even a plausible 
case for "ability to remember," some have tried a somewhat despairing 
and equally flawed argument. They have advanced the dubious propo- 
sition that Rabbis became famous for having commited to memory the 
entire Old Testament.^s as support for the proposition that Gospel writ- 
ers had the "ability" to accurately remember the stories in the Gospels. 
Aside from the thundering question why a writer waited so long to 
record such momentous events, there is an even larger problem. It is 
one thing to memorize a written work and quite another to memorize a 
memory without severe inaccuracies. Fredriksen makes this point quite 
explicitly. 49 Given the stronger evidence for a 120-year gap in the writ- 
ing of the Gospels, this contention is even more untenable. 

The Character Test: This test looks at the credibility of the person 
to whom the writing is attributed and asks whether there is any reason 
not to believe them. Augustine had to write two treatises on lying to 
encourage his colleagues to stop the practice that existed from the earli- 
est periods of the Church's history. This early and continuing practice 
occurred alongside pseudepigraphy and pious fraud. Both were sanc- 
tioned, if not encouraged before, during, and after the period of the for- 
mulation of the Gospels. These particulars would make the character 
test a measure that adherents would be well advised not to employ. 


The Consistency Test: Are there contradictions in the Gospels that 
make them less credible than they might otherwise be? The evidence 
here is overwhelming, with literally hundreds of examples of signifi- 
cant and not so significant differences. But the issue is not just the dis- 
crepancy between these four books of the Gospels and other books of 
the New Testament. The larger question is that only four of more than 
fifty versions of the Gospels were selected, and the latter possessed 
even more inconsistencies and contradictions. How does one reconcile 
these fifty versions and a selection process that by its very nature 
acknowledged that none was authentic, original, and exclusive? 

The Bias Test: Did the Gospel writers have any biases that would 
have colored their work? Obviously, the entire history of pious fraud 
shows that bias was the modus operandi of the writers of the Gospel. 

The Cover-Up Test: Did the writers cover up any detail that might 
be embarrassing or reveal things that were embarrassing as proof of the 
documents' veracity? Answered within the context of pious fraud, the 
entire body of material produced during the gestation period of the 
Church was a known fabrication, making the test itself moot. Undeni- 
ably, the entire process was a cover-up, that is to say, a distortion of the 

The Corroboration Test: Can places, people, and events be cor- 
roborated against known events in history? Once again, given what we 
know of the policies supporting made-up stories to enthrall the faithful, 
such corroboration was elementary, as writers labored to create the 
most authentic and believable accounts of the life of Jesus. This was 
possible since there was no written history of Jesus' life to serve as a 
check against excesses. 

The Adverse Witness Test: Are there contemporary sources who 
contradict the facts within the Gospels? To use the Gospels to make this 
point is to use a fraudulent document to prove another of its kind. The 
historians of the period serve as credible adverse witnesses and pro- 
duce the most thunderous evidence by their sheer silence. As we will 
see, there are no legitimate non-Church sources to corroborate events 
in the life of Jesus as depicted in the Gospels. 

There we have it, a contemporary methodology that fails to deal 
with the most salient evidence bearing on the authenticity and veracity 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 299 

of the Gospels and other books of the Bible. The silence of scholars and 
the Church on this point is all the more disturbing in light of the known 
policy of suppressio veri, which would encourage concealment of this 
history. To confront it would impose a burden of overwhelming propor- 
tion. But that is the nature of truth. The burden of its weight increases in 
direct proportion to the degree of suppression. Just as in earlier ver- 
sions of the now much vaunted new version of the Catholic Encyclope- 
dia, there are no references to pious fraud, pseudepigraphy, suppressio 
veri, or any other marker of the practices that were the dubious founda- 
tions on which Christianity was built. 

This is the problem with most current theological research and 
books such as The Case for ChrisP^ and even the more scholarly From 
Jesus to Christ. ^^ In the former, journalist Lee Strobel interviews many 
noted Christian scholars to get their take on the difficult questions 
posed by Christian critics and researchers regarding the life of Jesus. In 
interviews with distinguished scholars such as Dr. Craig L. Blomberg, 
Dr. Bruce Metzger, Dr. Edwin Yamauchi, Dr. John McRay, and Dr. 
Gregory Boyd among others, Strobel elicits testimony supportive of the 
conclusion that Jesus was real and that the account of him outlined in 
the Gospels is accurate. Yet, in interview after interview, the evidence 
supporting their assertions continues to be the early body of fraudulent 
writings of Church Fathers whose only objective was to serve God by 
providing whatever written support was necessary to further the 
Church's objectives. Again, we confront the essential weakness of all 
the testimony that Strobel elicits, namely, the avalanche of pious fraud 
that corrupted the work of the Church and continues to undermine its 
authenticity and veracity today. 

Strobel's defense did not go without criticism. Earl Doherty coun- 
tered with his. Challenging the Verdict: A Cross-Examination of Lee 
Strobel's "The Case for Christ. "^^ Doherty does a fair job of arguing 
the available evidence that is susceptible to alternate conclusions, but 
misses the main argument, namely, the impeachability of the entire 
record of historic documents, most particularly the Gospels them- 
selves, given the record of deception in which the Church acquiesced 
or actively participated. 


The Story Behind the Epistles of Paul 

The Epistles of Paul are an important link in the chain that makes 
up the story of Jesus, for the letters of Paul are said to be the living link 
with the life of Jesus. Paul is said to have lived during the time of Jesus 
and thus was the only historical figure able to authenticate his existence 
and achievements. But even his letters have dubious provenance. 
Despite their importance in Christian thought, there is, astonishingly 
enough, nothing in Paul's letters directly about the teachings or life of 
the savior. About Paul, the writer and lecturer M. M. Mangasarian^^ 

Is it conceivable that a preacher of Jesus could go throughout the world 
to convert people to the teachings of Jesus, as Paul did, without ever 
quoting a single one of his sayings? Had Paul known that Jesus had 
preached a sermon, or formulated a prayer, or said many inspired things 
about the here and the hereafter, he could not have helped quoting, now 
and then, from the words of his master. . . . 

If Paul knew of a miracle-working Jesus, one who could feed the multi- 
tude with a few loaves and fishes — who could command the grave to 
open ... is it conceivable that either intentionally or inadvertently he 
would have never once referred to them in all his preaching? 

The conclusion is inevitable that the gospel [of] Jesus is later than Paul 
and his churches .... [TJhere is absolutely not a single hint or sugges- 
tion in them of such a Jesus as is depicted in the gospels. The gospel 
Jesus was not yet put together or compiled, when Paul was preaching. ^^^ 

Of course, we now know that there were no writings about Jesus, 
which Paul could use in spreading the word about him. Paul knew 
nothing about Jesus' birth, life, or death, because no story existed and 
nothing had been created or written yet. If accounts of the lives of the 
disciples were true, Paul could have spoken with some of them. Cer- 
tainly, they would still have been spreading Jesus' message immedi- 
ately after his death. But, surprisingly, there is no evidence of any such 
communication. Paul mentions none of the disciples, in spite of their 
mutual devotion to Jesus and the spreading of his message. Conse- 
quently, Mangasarian concludes that the story of Jesus was made up, a 
creation from the pen of authors living long after Jesus died. Nothing 
later found in the Gospels was ever mentioned in any of Paul's writ- 
ings. So the Gospels, thought to be telling the story of Jesus as it was 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 301 

lived, observed and recorded by his disciples, are, to put it kindly, cre- 
ative fabrications! 

This essential flaw in the Church's story of Jesus has plagued it 
since its inception. Subtle attempts at pseudepigraphy to address the 
problem have been undertaken by later writers in an effort to backfill 
and attribute to Apostle Paul words about the life of Jesus that he did 
not write. But these efforts were transparent and largely futile, except 
to true believers. On this question, Mangasarian explained: 

That the authorities of the church realize how damaging to the reality of 
the gospel Jesus is the inexplicable silence of Paul concerning him, may 
be seen in their vain effort to find in a passage put in Paul's mouth by 
the unknown author of the book of Acts, evidence that Paul does quote 
the sayings of Jesus. The passage referred to is the following: "It is more 
blessed to give than to receive." Paul is made to state that this was a say- 
ing of Jesus. In the first place, this quotation is not in the epistles of 
Paul, but in the Acts, of which Paul was not the author; in the second 
place, there is no such quotation in the gospels. The position, then, that 
there is not a single saying of Jesus in the gospels which is quoted by 
Paul in his many epistles is unassailable, and certainly fatal to the histo- 
ricity of the gospel Jesus. ^^ 

On the question of whether the statements attributed to Paul in Acts 
were ever voiced by him, Fredriksen is in agreement with Mangasar- 

[T]he information that Acts relates about Paul — most specifically, on 
the event and circumstances of his call to be an apostle to Gentiles, and 
on his later negotiations with the Jerusalem community — contradicts 
Paul's own statements in crucial ways. Finally, Paul's speeches in Acts, 
according to the conventions of ancient historiography, are the free 
compositions of the author. . . . For all these reasons, then. Acts is not 
used here as a source for reconstructing Paul's refiections on the figure 
of Jesus. ^^ 

Others have argued that it was not Paul's mission or message to speak 
so much about the life and miracles of Jesus. Indeed, this is the appar- 
ent position taken by Fredriksen: 

The source of . . . [Paul's] Gospel (by which he means "message"), as 
distinct from theirs, was neither the earthly Jesus nor a human tradition 
passed from man to man, but the Risen Christ, who had been revealed to 
him through a special act of God (Gal 1:11-17; but Cf. 1 Cor 11:23; 


While Fredriksen does not proclaim Paul's focus on the "Risen 
Christ" as an explanation for an absence of any mention of the life of 
Christ in his teachings, other historians have made note of this empha- 
sis to explain the absence of any discourse about the life of Christ in 
Paul's writings. To this argument Mangasarian contends: 

It has been hinted by certain professional defenders of Christianity that 
Paul's specific mission was to introduce Christianity among the Gen- 
tiles, and not to call attention to the miraculous element in the life of his 
Master. But this is a very lame defense. What is Christianity, but the life 
and teachings of Jesus? And how can it be introduced among the Gen- 
tiles without a knowledge of the doctrines and works of its founder? 
Paul gives no evidence of possessing any knowledge of the teachings of 
Jesus, how could he, then, be a missionary of Christianity to the hea- 
then? ^s 

As it turns out, it is widely recognized that Paul did not write some or 
all of the letters attributed to him. Fredriksen acknowledges: 

[TJhough the basis of our investigation is solely the letters of Paul, not 
all the letters attributed to him in the canon are his. Fourteen of the 
twenty-seven writings comprising the New Testament are ascribed to 
Paul. Modern scholarship accepts as definitely Pauline only half that 

Other writers are far more critical of the validity of the Pauline letters. 

[T]he entire "Pauline group" is the same forged class . . . says Encyclo- 
pedia Biblica. . . ."'^^ With respect to the canonical Pauline Epistles, . . . 
there are none of them by Paul; neither fourteen, nor thirteen, nor nine or 
eight, nor yet even the four so long 'universally' regarded as unassail- 
able. They are all, without distinction, pseudographia (false-writings, 
forgeries). . . ." They are thus all uninspired anonymous church forger- 
ies for Christ's sweet sakel^^ 

The Jesus Story — The One and Only Savior? 

The words and life of Jesus have remarkable parallels to the lives of 
numerous other saviors and messiahs. For most readers, this may sound 
startling. I assure you, it was startling to me as I expanded my search 
for truth. There is a funny thing about the quest for truth. Once the door 
is opened, it never seems to close. The truth seeker is carried down 
paths that could never have been imagined. 

I was taught as a Christian youth, that Jesus was the Son of God and 
the Savior of the world — the only one. While I had questions about the 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 303 

rituals and dogma with which Christianity had surrounded the teach- 
ings of this pious man from Nazareth, I never had any question, during 
those days, that this was "the savior who died for our sins" — an exclu- 
sive designation if ever there was one. I never would have imagined 
that there had been other saviors — many others saviors — whose lives 
paralleled and predated that of Jesus. Even more, many also claimed to 
have been "crucified and died for our sins!" What was going on? 

As we will see, the Christian claim of Jesus as the Son of God who 
died for the sins of the world, must be reexamined alongside the histo- 
ries of more than twenty other messiahs, saviors, and Sons of God, all 
of whom predate Jesus and the claim made for him. Their stories are 
oddly familiar and parallel many critical facets of the life of Jesus 
found in the Gospels. For example, the histories of these saviors 

• Descent from heaven, 

• Taking on human form 

• Performing miracles 

• Crucifixion and ascension into heaven^^ 

What is more, these saviors were recorded in the histories of their 
time, establishing that they lived and did some of the things, though 
likely less than generations of embellishers would have us believe. 
Also, just as Jesus' coming was ostensibly foretold by prophecies, 
including some in the Old Testament — a dubious and contested 
proposition«53 — so too were the saviors that came before him. How- 
ever, no special significance is attributed to the existence of a prophecy 
in establishing the divinity of a potential savior. It is presented here 
because much weight is given to this fact in Christian writings as evi- 
dence that Jesus was who they claim him to be. So, while it is a bogus 
indicator with no spiritual significance, similar prophecies were associ- 
ated with the lives of many other saviors. In other words, these other 
prophecies undermine any claim of exclusivity to the divinity of Jesus 
as the Redeemer — even as all such claims to exclusivity or being a 
redeemer are bogus, since in truth, we are all soul, Jesus included. 


These precursors arrived on the scene after prophecies of a divine 
redeemer coming from Heaven to Hberate the people. Hindu-Buddhist 
writings prophesied a divine child: 

He will relieve the earth of sin, and cause justice and truth to reign 
everywhere. And will bring the whole earth into the acceptance of the 
Hindoo religion. "^^ 

These prophecies presaged the arrival of the Buddha. Similar stories 
abound from China^^^ and from Persia, where Zoroaster declared: 

A virgin should conceive and bear a son, and a star would appear blaz- 
ing at midday to signalize the occurrence. When you behold the 
star. . .follow it whithersoever it leads you. Adore the mysterious child, 
offering him gifts with profound humility. He is indeed the Almighty 
Word which created the heavens. He is indeed your Lord and everlasting 

Zoroaster's prophecy was made more than six hundred years before the 
birth of Jesus. «57 He was not speaking of Jesus. Instead, his prophecies 
presaged the Persian and Chaldean God, Josa. 

In his book. The World's Sixteen Crucified Saviors, Kersey Graves 

We are compelled to omit, for want of room, the notice of numerous 
Messianic prophecies found in the sacred writings of Egypt, Greece, 
Rome, Mexico, Arabia, and other countries, all of which tend to show 
that the same prophetic spirit pervaded all religious countries.... And we 
find as much evidence that these pagan prophecies were inspired, and 
also fulfilled, as those found in the Jew[ish]-Christian bible. ...^^^ 

So then, messianic stories predating the birth of Jesus abound. To 
any truth seeker, these accounts raise fundamental questions about the 
validity of Christian claims regarding Jesus' uniqueness and exclusive 
divinity. And as to claims that Jesus alone died for the sins of the world, 
it is evident that he merely joins the pantheon of other saviors. 

As for crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension into heaven, the 
accounts of Jesus are also derivative of the stories of at least fifteen 
other saviors, further eroding any claim to exclusivity that is the popu- 
larly accepted view of his state. Paul proclaimed the death and resur- 
rection of Jesus as the watershed event, proving incontrovertibly the 
divinity of Jesus, who by this act became the Christ. Paul's single- 
minded devotion to this story was the basis for the Church's proclama- 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 305 

tion of Easter as the most holy and indeed the most important of Chris- 
tian holy days. Yet Paul, and those who followed him in the Church, 
appeared oblivious to the fact that the crucifixion, resurrection, and 
ascension story was old, even when Paul first propounded it. Indeed, 
other saviors who allegedly experienced, crucifixion, resurrection, and 
ascension include: 

• Wittoba of the Telingonesic (crucified 552 B.C.E.): He is 
represented with nail-holes in his hands and soles of his 
feet. He is celebrated in the region of Madura, India. 

• Quexalcote of Mexico (crucified (587 B.C.E.): He was 
executed upon the cross as a propitiatory sacrifice for the 
sins of mankind. Evidence of this is tangible and indelibly 
engraved upon steel and metal plates. One plate represents 
him being crucified on a mountain and another in the 
heavens, just as St. Justin describes in the case of Jesus. In 
some depictions, he is crucified with two thieves. ^^ 

These accounts are written in the sacred books of their respective coun- 
tries and are just a few of the numerous accounts of other saviors and 
messiahs that dispute any claim of exclusivity that grew to become one 
of the tenets of Church doctrine. 

Where the Story of Jesus Originated 

The stories about the life of Christ that make up the Gospels did not 
come out of the blue and certainly not out of any historical records of 
his life. For as we have seen, there were no historical accounts of his 
life recorded by any historian of his era. But compelling historical evi- 
dence does exist to show that the story of Jesus is suspiciously similar 
to the accounts of other saviors and messiahs for whom there are 
recorded histories. These accounts do not conclusively prove that any 
of them was the source of the story or history of Jesus as found in the 
New Testament. But the parallels in the story of Jesus match so pre- 
cisely with the life and history of Krishna as to convince all but the 
true-believer, for whom facts are irrelevant. The story of Krishna pre- 
dates the birth, life, and death of Jesus by centuries. Further, the authors 
of the Gospels were obviously familiar with other religious myths, 
especially the life of Krishna, that were circulating in the Mediterra- 
nean World during that time. Many likely got mixed in with the actual 


stories of Jesus that were circulating by word of mouth forty to a hun- 
dred and fifty years before they were finally written down. From these 
stories, the Church Fathers wrote an elaborate new myth eclectically 
drawn from the stories generously told and exchanged with locals, trad- 
ers, soldiers, emissaries, wandering prophets, and others7° 

The life of Krishna (literally meaning "black," or "dark as a 
cloud")^! of India, as described in the Baghavat Gita, predated Jesus by 
1200 years. Indeed, not just the story of his life, as we shall see, but 
many of the sayings attributed to Jesus were also uttered earlier by 
Krishna. ^2 Here are a few of the more than one hundred parallels 
between the lives of these two saviors. Combined, they raise questions 
about the authenticity of the life story of Jesus, if not his very existence 
as other than myth. As to Krishna: 

• He was bom of a virgin . 

• The mother and child were visited by shepherds, wise 
men, and an angelic host, who joyously sang, "In thy 
delivery, O favored among women, all nations shall have 
cause to exult." 

• The edict of the tyrant ruler Cansa, ordered all first-bom to 
be put to death. 

• The mother and child miraculously escaped by parting the 
waves of the river Jumna (the putative source of another 
well-known story) to permit them to pass through on dry 

The retirement of Krishna to a desert for contemplation. 

His baptism or ablution in the river Ganges, corresponding 
to Jesus' baptism in the Jordan. 

His transfiguration at Madura, where he assured his disci- 
ples that "present or absent, I will always be with you." 

He had a favorite disciple (Arjoon), who was his friend, as 
John was the friend of Christ. 

He was anointed with oil by women. 

And more than one hundred other similarities. ^^ 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 307 

As we have seen, inventing or borrowing stories to exalt a "savior" 
as the center of a new religion was regarded as essential to strengthen 
belief of the faithful and the institution of the Church. But then as now, 
the faithful knew little if anything about the deception and untruth at 
the center of the teaching. Any institution based on a fundamental 
deception always runs the risk of discovery with the attendant conse- 
quences. This is not to say that, even from such a dubious and devious 
base, good cannot arise. Certainly it can, and there is much to be said 
about the tremendous good that the Church continues to contribute to 
civilization. But like Eckankar, where the good is built on a base of 
deception actively hidden from the view of the faithful, there is some- 
thing fundamentally wrong. And it is this: people do not like being lied 
to and deceived. It goes against the most basic instinct that we have as 
humans and certainly as soul. "Tell me the truth and let me decide," is 
the mantra that all would voice if given the chance. And this is pre- 
cisely what is intended in this chapter. Anything less than the truth is to 
perpetuate a hoax, no matter how well-intentioned: it is disingenuous if 
not dishonorable. 

The Basis of Contemporary Belief 

Whatever the facts surrounding Christianity, it has grown and 
spread as few other religions in history. The rationales of Christian 
adherents can be put into four categories. The first comprises the true 
believers, who do not care about the facts, but are comforted by the sto- 
ries in the Gospels and can see the fruits of this belief in their lives. 
These are the fundamentalists who, ignoring or unaware of the facts of 
history, believe that the Bible — and thus the story of Jesus — repre- 
sents the literal and unassailable Word of God. It is not to be challenged 
or questioned, lest one reap the consequences that flow from defying 
the Word of God. 

A second group of Christian believers, the Euhemerists,^^ anchor 
their faith in the assumption that there was, in fact, an historical Jesus. 
How else, they would argue, can one explain the strength of Christian- 
ity? I can understand this position. From the earliest days, I was pre- 
sented with a picture of Jesus, which in time filled my inner space and 
became as real as anyone in my life. My assumption of his historical 
reality only strengthened my belief in his mission and miracles. But a 


similar thing happened when I assumed the reahty of Eck Masters. The 
assumption of historic validity gives inner and outer life to any creation 
of imagination. 

Of course the image of Jesus has been depicted with many faces, in 
many races. This is to be expected when dealing with a figure that no 
one has ever seen or known. To the extent that Jesus was a mortal man 
elevated to the status of god, his ascension paralleled the track of many 
historical figures whose accomplishments were so venerated as to be 
elevated to this status. This has come to be known as "euhemerism," a 
word that comes to us from Euhemems (a fourth-century B.C.E. Greek 
mythographer), who held that the gods were simply deified mortals. ^^ 
In this school of thought, Jesus is portrayed as a rebel, who so incited 
the Romans that they executed him. But the problem with this hypothe- 
sis continues to be the dearth of any verifiable historic record of his life 
from sources other than those composed decades after his death. And, 
as we have seen, these were written by Church Fathers whose inten- 
tions were guided by anything but a concern for historical accuracy. 

Third, there are the mythicists: students and interpreters of myth 
who adhere to the view that some supernatural persons or events origi- 
nate in human imagination, especially as revealed in myth. Given the 
growing body of evidence that points to Jesus being a mythological fig- 
ure, this school of thought adopted a more realistic and plausible view. 
They maintain that because the myths about Jesus appeared before he 
did, they constitute the core of a spiritual truth around which the history 
of the man and the movement came together. 

In recent years, an intriguing fourth group of believers has 
emerged, basing their faith, at least in part, in The Urantia Book. In the 
words of the Urantia Foundation: 

The Urantia Book was written in 1934-1935 and published in 1955. The 
book proclaims to be authored by numerous supermortal (angel-like) 
beings as a Revelation to our world. It is the first Epochal Revelation 
since Jesus and the fifl;h since the beginning of human life on Earth. No 
humans are associated with authoring The Urantia Book and the tech- 
nique whereby the papers were transcribed is unknown. Like all other 
religious books, the contents should be evaluated by the fruits of the 
spirit which the teachings produce, not by any claim of authorship. ...^^ 

Holy Books and the Sixteen Crucified Saviors 309 

Either this book is an astonishing example of extraterrestrial coopera- 
tion or it is another example of pious fraud that, in regard to its alleged 
origins and scope, leaves all other examples in its wake. This book con- 
tains minute details of Jesus' life, including an intricate description of 
the compound, neighborhood, and physical environment in which he 
walked as a boy. It similarly contains other details of the life of Christ 
spread over more than seven hundred remarkable pages. Whatever its 
source, the Urantia movement is growing. For many, its version of the 
life of Jesus is more credible than that of the Christian churches 
because it is more detailed — remember the device of truth by detail? 

A Final Word 

As God-soul, the point of all religion and all worship is to eventu- 
ally outgrow it and realize that the lives of the masters, saints, saviors, 
and redeemers are a preview of our own life. Each of us is a spark of 
God with the inherent potential of all other souls. But the deeper we 
become entangled in ritual, doctrine, and religious debate, the more we 
move away from learning the essential spiritual lesson for which we 
have come into this world, yet again. The stories of Christianity, Eck- 
ankar, and Radhasoami are only examples of what happens in any reli- 
gion that establishes itself or its central figure as the conduit through 
which one must pass in order to know the reality of God. In the end, 
they all must be shown for the transient nature of the lessons they can 
teach. For ultimately each person is his own path to God and can never 
experience the divine reality in a religion or anything else outside of 

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Chapter 13 — The Spiritual and Scientific 
Foundations of Higher 

The Nature of the Journey 

My life has been a journey to the heart of truth. The pathway of 
truth is the only means by which soul can realize and experience the 
source of its being and what it truly is. This journey has taken me 
through fallow fields and others filled with a rich and wondrous bounty 
of insights and wisdom. All have added to my understanding of the 
infinite, that which I now refer to as the "ONE" or "ALL THAT IS." 
When I went astray, I was pulled back to truth by events that could not 
have been predicted, yet whose meaning was clear when they occurred. 
My encounter with Graham and the reaction of the spiritual leader of 
Eckankar to his journal were the catalysts that set me on this part of my 
journey. I discovered flaws in my paradigm of the God principle, which 
helped me refine my understanding of myself as a spiritual being and 
my identity in the oneness of ALL THAT IS. 

I regret no part of this journey, for never was there a time when I 
was not learning and growing. During my journey's most trying seg- 
ments, I encountered spiritual deception and misleading insights into 
the infinite. My discovery of this deception served to give me guidance 
that would keep the next leg of my journey on course. I am grateful for 
these experiences and for the awareness they brought. Without them, I 
would not have the appreciation I now have of how souls can so easily 
be misled, and once misled, how they often fight to remain in comfort- 
able spiritual terrain. 

Since I cleared away the confusion and deception Eckankar put in 
my way, my growth to higher consciousness has been breathtaking. 


Through intense inner and outer explorations, I have come to under- 
stand the nature of religions and the transcendent quality they all pos- 
sess. By the same token, however, I have come to understand their 
limitations and how they can be spiritually debilitating. These insights 
are part of every person's journey to the heart of truth. At the center, it 
is simplicity itself. Mankind surrounds this simplicity with ritual, 
dogma, and endless ventures into logic, which have no outcome except 
an infinite cycle of questions and answers. Such is the nature of the pur- 
suit of truth when limited to the devices of the mind. 

The Journey to God-Realization and the Heart of Truth 

The promise of God-Realization is not limited to incarnations of 
men and women. When the whole puzzle is put together, we see that all 
existence, from the lowest to the highest, is evolving to more advanced 
forms. Indeed, we are one of the channels by which it is evolving. How 
can one experience the love of a pet without intuiting that this beloved 
creature is preparing for a higher expression of itself? How can we not 
be aware of the conflicts that abound within our own bodies without 
sensing that there is something else going on quite independent of our 
wishes and self-interest? There is much more going on within our inner 
and outer bodies than we realize. 

We can see in these structures a microcosm of the entire universe. 
Souls are embodied in each germ and cell of our outer shell, experienc- 
ing life and learning lessons that we, as the dominant soul of this col- 
lective, are struggling to control and direct. That is why it takes so 
many incarnations in the human form alone to "get it all together." 
Thus, our experience here is not ours alone. We live in the company of 
other beings that are evolving as we are evolving. The more we estab- 
lish harmony with all that we are, the more everything that composes 
our being unfolds. 

Just as our level of awareness aids in the expansion of conscious- 
ness of other beings struggling for spiritual growth, there are souls far 
more advanced than us working to assist in our spiritual development. 
How could it be otherwise, for the Great Work of every sentient being 
within all universes is to assist others in the expansion of awareness? 
Just as there are souls behind us in the unfolding of consciousness, 
there are also souls ahead of us, often far ahead — not better, not 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 315 

greater, simply more advanced. This is the universal love system in 
which we have our existence. Despite events that may appear to the 
contrary, all events lead to growth in awareness, which, in turn, lead to 
God-Realization and a greater self-defined role in the running of the 

It is an incredible universe that we are and in which we live. We 
cannot completely understand it through the prism of science with its 
limitations and, far too frequently, arrogant blindness (though this is 
rapidly changing). We can only understand the inner and outer uni- 
verses through a more comprehensive process. This process involves 
not just scientific exploration of the outer world but also meditation and 
inner travel to investigate other dimensions of reality. The journey to 
higher consciousness requires a focus on the proper objective and an 
ability to look past form to the unity of everything. We learn in time 
that masters, like teachers, must be left behind. We learn that light and 
sound are but fireworks compared to the reality of the ONE. 

We are all capable of seeing and knowing this reality; we must 
progress beyond the limitations of inner constructs that are miscon- 
strued as the journey to God. The cosmogony and cosmology of the 
inner worlds propounded by various spiritual paths do have an objec- 
tive reality of sorts. They exist to the same degree that "objective real- 
ity" in the physical world exists. But in the inner worlds, we have the 
capability to create instantaneous reality/illusion by the thought forms 
and beliefs that we hold. That is why the myths and promises of every 
religion are experienced by its adherents as they move into the inner 

These experiences occur either at the transition point known as 
death or through inner exploration encompassed in dreams, soul travel, 
astral travel or consciousness shifting. Thus, constructs of the inner 
worlds exist and are created by our imagination (and outside of our 
imagination through the imagination of others) but are brought within 
the reach of our experience through our beliefs and expectations. We 
can change these constructs and thus change the course of our inner 
journey by altering our beliefs and expanding our awareness. This 
places us on an entirely different track of inner experience and enlight- 


There is no intrinsically valid inner journey, destination, or geogra- 
phy, for we are already there, which is to say, here. The outer and inner 
reality/illusions that we experience are only props that have been estab- 
lished by creative souls that have gone before us or by ourselves. These 
reality/illusions are no more inevitable, absolute, or final than our abil- 
ity to imagine something different. As we shall see, moving beyond 
these inner and outer constructs to a higher and more lasting awareness 
of ourselves as God-soul is not as difficult as it may sound. 

The journey to higher consciousness requires a careful balance of 
query, analysis, doubt, intuition, belief, inner awareness, and knowing- 
ness. In the end, falsehood is purged. Truth emerges with an immanent 
power that satisfies the most critical analysis. This truth pierces the 
varieties of forms that masquerade as religion, philosophy, and society 
itself. What is left is the center of all things, the only reality that exists. 
This reality is awareness, beingness, and "is-ness" — the qualities of 
God-soul, whose true home is formless and spaceless. In time, we 
come to know the secret of all secrets, that we are an expression of 

This chapter presents the foundation for understanding this conclu- 
sion. When coupled with the inner journey, we come to understand and 
know truth for itself. This journey to higher consciousness, indeed, to 
the heart of truth, passes through a doorway opened by a mastery of 
direct perception, dream travel, meditation, contemplation, awareness 
shifting, or whatever we wish to call the experience of transcending 
physical and other lower aspects of consciousness. It all leads to the 
stillness, the oneness that is the reality of here and now, the gift that we 
already have when we finally come to realize it. This is the end to 
which divine discontent propels each of us and the whole of human- 
kind, the quest that is the reason for our very existence. It is the journey 
that takes us everywhere, only to learn that we are already here. It is the 
journey to higher consciousness, the journey to the heart of truth. 

The Law of Unity 

There are spiritual laws that define the manner in which the inner 
and outer universes operate and our relationship to them. Many of these 
laws have been discovered by physical science, in so far as their physi- 
cal attributes can be discerned. Many others we have intuitively sensed 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 317 

in our life experience. Others remain hidden and elusive, understand- 
able only when we transcend earthly consciousness. Together, these 
laws form the foundation on which all things operate, under which all 
natural and spiritual phenomena can be understood. The overarching 
law, from which all other laws derive, is the Law of Unity, or the Law 
of the ONE. 

The Law of Unity embodies the concept that the universe was cre- 
ated and is guided by a single, conscious, intelligent force — the unity 
from which all creation has emerged. ITS purpose, as best IT can be 
described, is to achieve expansion by and through the expansion of 
awareness of all sentient beings. To better understand this Law, it is 
necessary to understand more about the nature of ALL THAT IS and 
how our lives reflect what IT is. 

The Illusion of Life 

It is often said that we live in an illusion created by individual and 
collective assumptions and conventions of civilization. However, for 
most of us, the illusion is far too real to be recognized as such. It 
demands our full attention to simply survive and hopefully to prosper. 
The illusion of daily life becomes our reality. Thus, we shall call it 
"reality /illusion." Every experience of life is designed to expand our 
understanding of who we are and to peel back the layers of reality /illu- 
sion so that we can see it for what it is. Dream creation (an aspect of 
imagination) as well as accepting and living so many roles in life exem- 
plify the myriad levels of illusion we have created. 

In a famous example of how quickly we accept illusion as reality, a 
group of young men was recruited and taken to a location in Stanford 
University's Psychology Department, which simulated a prison. None 
of the young men had been convicted of a criminal act; each had simply 
agreed to participate in an experiment. They were "prisoners" in an 
illusionary world in which they were watched over by another group of 
volunteers acting as "guards," though all were drawn from the Stan- 
ford's student population. 

The prisoners were sprayed for lice, strip-searched, and put in leg- 
irons. The guards were given authority to create the rules under which 
the prison operated. The experiment went on around-the-clock, though 
each participant could leave at any time. With little more than these 


ground rules, the guards began to humiliate the prisoners in an apparent 
effort to break their wills. So completely did each group adopt their 
roles and live the illusion, that the experimenters thought it might 
become dangerous, and the experiment had to be halted after just a few 
days. The psychologists concluded that "circumstances can distort 
individual personalities — and how anyone, when given complete con- 
trol over others, can act like a monster."i While the latter part might be 
a stretch, the experiment does illustrate the degree to which illusion can 
become reality, and how our actions, words, and thoughts can be influ- 
enced by illusion. 

We encounter this same phenomenon everyday when we listen to 
the news and become emotionally engrossed in it. We see it when we 
identify with a movie character and feel what he feels. The roles we 
play in life (mother, father, priest, lawyer) and social groupings (race, 
sex, sexual preference, height, weight, religion, nationality) are all 
examples of the different levels of reality /illusion that we move in and 
out of throughout the day. 

Another example of the power of reality/illusion can be seen in the 
competition to win, especially in team sports. Our games place the indi- 
vidual in an illusory matrix in which participants are often prepared to 
sacrifice their bodies to accomplish a result that an illusion presents as 
desirable. Once the prize is reached, however, the victor is often unable 
to explain what it all means. She must conjure up a meaning, for one is 
not intrinsic to the experience. It is only upon reflection that she per- 
ceives the growth of inner strength and awareness as the real meaning 
in the reality /illusion. 

When we look at life in this manner, we see that it is similar to our 
dream experiences, except that the scenery changes more rapidly and 
the transitions are not as smooth and predictable. The significance of 
dreams has long been known to be a hidden, intrinsic meaning not nec- 
essarily related to the scenery or the characters, except symbolically. 
These are only a few of the many clues that parade before us daily that 
hint at the illusory nature of reality. 

We learn and grow only when we are engrossed in something and 
react as if it is reality. When we watch a movie and focus on the cine- 
matography, acting, scenery, script, and other technical components. 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 319 

we easily see it as a created illusion. From this perspective, we are little 
affected by the plight of the characters. We are above the illusion. We 
think of cleverer ways to manipulate the variables of the drama. We can 
then weave even more convincing illusions with ever-greater impact. 
On the other hand, if we become engrossed in the drama, sensing and 
feeling the experiences of the characters, we may learn the lessons they 
would learn. In like manner, the lessons we learn in the reality/illusion 
of life depend on the level at which we enter into and participate in the 

At first, we are the effect of all of life, for we cannot see that we are 
in an illusion. We are less likely to perceive the lessons we must learn 
to move to the next stage in our emotional, intellectual, and spiritual 
development. In time, we learn to see the illusion for what it is and 
detach from it, even as we live through and confront the illusion. Expe- 
riencing life from a higher consciousness lessens the emotional pain in 
life's illusions, but it does not blunt our response to the point that we 
become disinterested observers. We simply learn at two or more levels 
of awareness simultaneously. 

Illusion: A Scientific Perspective 

A scientific perspective of the reality/illusion of life is useful in 
understanding the process of creation itself and the ways of ALL THAT 
IS. Recent scientific findings shed light on this phenomenon, at least in 
so far as it manifests in the physical realm. In 1982, a research team 
from the University of Paris, headed by physicist Alain Aspect, per- 
formed a series of experiments that suggested a holographic paradigm 
for the universe. Aspect later expanded the implications of his findings 
to an even more profound cosmology. To better understand the startling 
implications of this research and how it supports the idea of an illusory 
reality, it is useful to review earlier research. 

The television series Star Trek and the movie Star Wars popular- 
ized the idea of a hologram. A holographic image is a three-dimen- 
sional representation of a real object that visually represents all aspects 
of it, but lacks physical substance. The present state of holography is 
not even remotely close to its depictions on the "Holodeck" of the Star- 
ship Enterprise. Yet, it has come far enough to propel our understand- 
ing of reality /illusion from where we were not too long ago. One 


scientist described the incredible potential of the holographic para- 

[TJhere is evidence to suggest that our world and everything in it — 
from snowflakes to maple trees to falling stars and spinning electrons — 
are also only ghostly images, projections from a level of reality so 
beyond our own it is literally beyond both space and time.^ 

Proponents of this view include the highly respected quantum physicist 
David Bohm3 (a protege of Albert Einstein) and Karl Pribram, a Stan- 
ford University neurophysiologist and author of Languages of the 
Brain. "^ 

Let's look more closely at this phenomenon. Holography is a 
means for storing and displaying on photographic or other light-sensi- 
tive material, a three-dimensional image of a thing or person. The plate 
on which the image is exposed is a hologram. When a laser light is pro- 
jected through this plate, a holographic image is produced. The produc- 
tion of this three-dimensional representation of a real object is a clue to 
a much deeper truth. Could this obvious illusion demonstrate a princi- 
ple that has important parallels in understanding the true nature of the 
cosmos? This question intrigued Pribram, who found that the holo- 
graphic paradigm was more useful than other theories in explaining 
memory. His observations suggested that memories were distributed 
throughout the brain rather than localized in a particular part, as earlier 
research had suggested. He came to this conclusion on observing the 
ability of subjects to recall particular memories, even though the part of 
the brain thought to hold that memory had not been stimulated. 

Similarly, Bohm found the holographic paradigm explained previ- 
ously puzzling phenomena in quantum physics. While Dennis Gabor 
(Nobel Prize winner in Physics in 1971) is credited with the discovery 
of holography, Pribram and Bohm are credited with expanding this dis- 
covery into a paradigm that explains many formerly inexplicable phe- 
nomena. This theory not only explained natural phenomena, but also 
paranormal phenomena such as precognition, dreams, telepathy, etc., 
subjects that science had assiduously avoided. In short order, the holo- 
graphic paradigm was used to explain near-death experiences, the 
workings of the brain, the dream world, and synchronicity (unusual 
coincidences that are more than chance). ^ 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 321 

Alain Aspect and his Paris team discovered that sub-atomic parti- 
cles appear to instantaneously communicate with each other, whether 
the distance between them is ten feet or ten billion miles. ^ Aspect's 
findings carry implications that most scientist are unprepared to accept. 
Bohm, on the other hand, went far ahead of his colleague and put forth 
the interpretation that objective reality does not exist, that despite its 
apparent solidity, the universe is a phantasm, a gigantic and splendidly 
detailed hologram. In other words, the physical world is an illusion, the 
full nature of which we are only beginning to understand. 

Seeing the universe as a gigantic hologram is a useful though 
incomplete bridge to seeing the greater miracle of creation and life 
encompassed in ALL THAT IS, the ONE, or GOD. It has long been a 
tenet of higher consciousness that each of us is a reflection, an image of 
that from which we derive. The properties of the hologram illustrate 
this to some degree. When a holographic plate containing the image of 
an apple is illuminated with a laser beam, the object appears as a per- 
fect three-dimensional image of the original. If we were to cut the plate 
with the image of the apple in half, then project the light onto each half 
separately, we would reasonably expect to see only one half of the 
image. But this is not what happens! Even though we project the light 
onto only half the hologram, we see a three-dimensional image of the 
whole apple. The image is smaller (the plate is smaller by half) but it is 
as complete in all details as the original image. What if we were to cut 
the plate into fourths, eighths, sixteenths, and so on? Each time we 
project the laser onto a smaller fractional part of the hologram, we con- 
tinue to see the image of the whole apple, though proportionately 

The hologram is more than a metaphor for our relationship to and 
reflection of the ONE. It has profound implications. It demonstrates 
that everything is part of the whole, even though it appears as a subdi- 
vided part. Bohm embraced this expanded concept of the whole, as 
have others, for it offers a useful way to see and understand the uni- 
verse and our relationship to it. 

In his General Theory of Relativity, Einstein astounded the world 
by arguing that time and space are not separate but are smoothly linked 
and part of a larger whole he called the "space-time continuum." Bohm 


takes this idea a giant step further. He says that everything in the uni- 
verse is part of a continuum. Despite the apparent separateness of 
things, everything is a seamless extension of everything else, and ulti- 
mately even the implicate and explicate orders blend into each other. ^ 

Science has made us aware of other examples of this intriguing 
phenomenon. Every cell in our bodies contains a complete record of 
who we are (our genetic history) and reflects the whole of which it is a 
part. This is the basis of cloning. Each cell can be used to replicate a 
virtually identical specimen, just as the fractional hologram can pro- 
duce an image of the whole. In like manner, we are not only a part of 
ALL THAT IS, we are an infinitesimally small replica of IT. And, just 
as the cell can produce a fully developed adult of the same size and 
capability, so are we capable of growing to become that from which we 
derive. This concept may appear blasphemous or inconceivable at first, 
but it is consistent with the spiritual law of expanding consciousness 
and that of the ONE. Like the acorn to the giant oak tree, we too are in 
the process expanding to the ONE. 

We are limited in our reflection of ALL THAT IS only by limits we 
set on our acceptance of a deeper understanding, awareness and accep- 
tance of ITS nature and ways. All religions place limits on the expan- 
sion of awareness by espousing static spiritual paradigms. It is as if 
they are saying, "GOD is no more than what we know HIM/HER/IT to 
be right now; we have the answer, and that's that." 

Expanding or Changing Paradigms 

Webster 's defines paradigm as: 

Example, Pattern; especially: an outstandingly clear or typical example 
or archetype ... a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scien- 
tific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generaliza- 
tions and the experiments performed in support of them are 

In other words, a paradigm is a way of looking at things. It represents 
the combination of our assumptions, beliefs, and accepted facts on a 
given subject, which influences the way we think and the decisions we 
make. Our ideas about dating, homemaking, and God are examples of 
paradigms. Throughout this section, we will refer to this concept to bet- 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 323 

ter understand how our thought patterns and archetypes influence our 
view of ourselves and the universe in which we live. 

The lessons about spirit and ALL THAT IS apply to all dimensions 
of reality. Once we learn them, we also learn the ways of the universe 
itself. Far from a purely physical phenomenon understandable in scien- 
tific terms, the creation and operation of the universe is first and fore- 
most an inner "spiritual" process. It employs the same methods that we 
are in this physical classroom to learn. I use the word spiritual because 
there is in fact no "scientific" process or "spiritual" process as such. 
They are actually one. However, these designations are used to separate 
that part of our knowledge discernible by certain methods of inquiry 
from another. They are, in fact, a continuum with the line of what is 
spiritual constantly moving as scientific discovery intrudes. Once we 
depended on spiritual myth, misguided doctrine, dogma, and reverence 
to breach the barrier that allowed us to accept and believe. As science 
brought forth more rational explanations, we abandoned doctrine and 
dogma and accepted what we came to regard as fact. Science has not 
yet breached the void between life and death, reality and dreams, imag- 
ination and manifestation. Consequently, we still view these areas as 
"spiritual", as distinct from "science," and continue to look to the 
former for guidance and explanation. 

When we come to see that both are inextricably connected, a con- 
tinuum only, we will see the fallacy and the futility of the fixed para- 
digms of religious dogma. Thus, the problem with the term "spiritual" 
is that it is surrounded with reverence and deference that eschew ratio- 
nal inquiry. It implies that blind trust, acceptance, and abandonment of 
critical faculties are prerequisites. But, as indicated, science and spiri- 
tuality are merely different ways of describing the same body of knowl- 
edge. Each answers in its own manner, who we are, why we are here, 
and what we are to do. 

Therefore, spiritual inquiry should be treated as a form of scientific 
inquiry. Then, we can abandon the entrapment of doctrine and dogma 
that masquerade as truth. But spiritual inquiry, as an extension of scien- 
tific inquiry (or vice versa), requires adoption of new and different 
assumptions and methods to expand the range of knowing truth. Scien- 
tific paradigms have been expanded in the popular mind by science-fic- 


tion writers, who often take what we know and add imaginative fancy 
in a manner that distorts the macro-paradigm of our existence: I AM, 


Horror movies, mysteries, and the like instill fear of anything out- 
side of the norm. They limit growth, for fear limits growth. However, 
the universe is, or becomes, whatever we think it to be. So, there is truth 
in what these writers have imagined, but only because they allow these 
images to come into inner and outer existence. Science-fiction writers 
have positively expanded our concept of what is possible, but they have 
also left emotional scars and paradigm-distortions. In addition to "sci- 
fi" writers, perhaps it is time for a new genre of writers called science/ 
spiritual, or "sci-spi."^ They would combine what we know about the 
universe through science with what we know about spirituality. 

Scientific inquiry demands that experiments be predictable and 
replicable. Scientific inquiry in the spiritual realm must adapt and 
adjust its basic rules in order to make the jump into other parts of the 
continuum of existence. It must come to grips with the subjective 
nature of dimensional existence,i° which makes predictable and repli- 
cable results less likely. Indeed, this is precisely what science is now 
grappling with as it confronts the unpredictable and uncertain nature of 
quantum physics. Science must shift its paradigm in order to encom- 
pass transcendent processes such as belief and thought as creative vehi- 
cles. This lessens the expectation of predictable-replicable results, the 
bane of modern scientific research into the spiritual -psychic unknown. 
The change in approach that leads to this type of inquiry is already seen 
in holographic research and quantum physics, where the connection 
between thought and outer results is becoming more apparent. 

Further, while the scientific method demands an open mind and 
willingness to consider all possibilities, the truth is that the scientific 
method itself works within a paradigm of belief that defines the limits 
of what is considered appropriate for inquiry. For example, the work of 
Dr. Ian Stevenson (University of Virginia School of Medicine") pro- 
vides compelling evidence of reincarnation. Certainly, it is sufficient to 
warrant more scientific inquiry but has met with indifference if not 
derision by many in the scientific community. The work of researchers 
into abduction phenomena^^ and evidence of genetic manipulation of 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 325 

the species have met with similar disdain. The latter research contains 
impressive evidence of advanced beings spreading science and culture, 
resulting in phenomenal advances of homo sapiens in an inexplicably 
short time. 13 Yet, such research is ignored as unworthy of the label of 
science. Consideration of this evidence would alter the comfortable 
evolution-paradigm or the genesis-paradigm that today forms the limits 
of scientific inquiry into the nature of existence. 

However, a promising development in recent years has been the 
formation of the Society for Scientific Exploration, i^ a group of sci- 
ence professors from major American universities. They seek to pro- 
mote the study of anomalous occurrences traditionally avoided by the 
scientific community. They publish a refereed journal. Journal of Sci- 
entific Exploration, which covers various fascinating phenomena. 

In time — I believe sooner than later — religion and science will be 
forced to adjust, if not abandon, old paradigms and embrace broader 
more expansive ones that explain existence and cosmogony. This is 
essential because the paradigms that form the basis of our culture can- 
not address the challenges humankind will soon face. 

In recent years, the idea of different dimensions of reality — differ- 
ent planes — has found support in scientific literature. The scientific 
idea of parallel universes embraces this idea and is now considered "so 
real that we can reach out and touch them, and even use them to change 
our world."! 5 David Deutsch of the University of Oxford asserts, "our 
universe is part of a multiverse, a domain of parallel universes that 
comprises ultimate reality." According to New Scientist, Deutsch 
claims "For seventy years physicists have been hiding from it, but they 
can hide no longer." The significance of this development is the view 
expressed by Deutsch and other scientists that the fate of universes can 
be molded and exploited. From a scientific perspective, the multiverse 
construct explains the perplexing mystery of why atoms behave so dif- 
ferently from the expectations of Newtonian physics or quantum 
mechanics, which have led to the scientific advances we have experi- 
enced as a civilization. 

Quantum theory postulates that atoms can be in more than one 
place at a time. The mystery is that the atoms that compose the things 
that we see and use everyday can be in only one place at once, for 


instance a table. Yet, as we move into finer and finer levels of matter, 
the constituents of matter behave quite differently and cannot be 
explained by conventional quantum physics. We have seen that the 
holographic paradigm offers some explanation of this phenomenon but 
is not wholly satisfactory. The multiverse paradigm is not only consis- 
tent with the understanding put forth by spiritual travelers of the exist- 
ence of inner planes, but also explains phenomena that cannot be 
explained by reference to a single ww/verse construct. 

The multiverse paradigm postulates that there is no difference in 
the application of quantum mechanics in the table and the microscopic 
universe of sub-atomic particles. If this is true, then atoms should still 
be able to exist in more than one place at a time. Yet this is not what we 
observe. However, the multiverse paradigm suggests that there is 
another table existing in another universe but the instruments of this 
universe cannot observe it. The astral world, by this description, con- 
tains a parallel reality for everything that exists in the physical world, 
including ourselves. By logical extension, there also are universes and 
dimensions, where every possibility already exists. 

The implications of the multiverse paradigm are staggering. Yet 
these ideas are not new. They have been tenets of higher consciousness 
thought for millennia, yet the scientific community claims to have dis- 
covered them in 1957. This it is another example of how the separation 
of these two worlds — science and spirituality — works to the detri- 
ment of both. The mere articulation of this theory by science adds cred- 
ibility to the self-evident awareness of spiritual teachers who have 
known and taught these principles for eons. On the other hand, the sci- 
entific community would do well to consider the perspective of spiri- 
tual teachers whose insights into existence continue to be well beyond 
these encouraging scientific steps. An enlightened view of this conflu- 
ence would have both relating to each other far more than is apparent 

A notable exception to this tendency is the work of Stanford Uni- 
versity professor, William A. Tiller, who has pioneered research involv- 
ing the nexus of these two worlds of science and spirituality. His book. 
Science and Human Transformation, is a tour de force in its promulga- 
tion of scientific theory to explain psychic phenomena usually treated 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 327 

with a nod and a wink by most in the scientific community. He ventures 
to explain, scientifically, such subtle energy phenomena as remote 
viewing (projecting and seeing with the astral body), precognition, 
telepathy, mind reading, clairvoyance and clairaudience, psychokine- 
sis, telekinesis, levitation, and other phenomena. ^^ As to the multidi- 
mensional nature of the universe. Dr. Tiller readily acknowledges that 
there is a great deal going on about which we know virtually nothing. 
He has put forward the existence of other dimensions and joined the 
vanguard of those introducing this paradigm to the world. 

However, most people, because of the inadequacy of existing reli- 
gious and scientific paradigms, reject much of what we are discussing 
here. It is the same problem faced by primitive inhabitants of a rain for- 
est if confronted with technological wonders of modern civilization. 
One can imagine an encounter with our civilization by a small group of 
these inhabitants and how unbelievable their accounts would be when 
told to village elders. Rejection and disbelief would result because their 
paradigm could not explain modern life. When this occurs, the protec- 
tive nature of humankind rejects the information. The population of the 
village would follow the elders. They have been trained to; it is their 
way. Even if repeated encounters with civilization occurred, the elders 
would still control what was believed. 

We face a similar situation with our conflicting scientific and reli- 
gious paradigms. Further, the religious hierarchy is loath to accept sci- 
entific discoveries such as the one that asserted the earth revolved 
around the sun. Once constructs are enlarged, progress can occur at a 
rate that reflects more than mere advances in cell phones, computers, 
cloning, and genetics. Indeed even these discoveries will be limited 
until the current paradigms, bounded by moral stricture and religious 
doctrine, are reevaluated from a perspective that reflects a higher state 
of consciousness. 

How We Create Our Reality/Illusion 

The reality/illusion in which we live is like the props on a stage, a 
play that we are writing and in which we are acting. It is a gigantic 
dream, or hologram, that we, knowingly or unknowingly, project into 
life. We are responsible for its content and its outcome. The content of 
our lives is propelled by thought and belief through which we function 


as cause or effect. When we function as cause, we decide and create for 
ourselves; when as effect, we react and separate ourselves from the cre- 
ative process. We believe we have no control over life; whatever hap- 
pens is determined by outside forces. But we are not separate or 
different from the creator. We use the same process of creation that was 
the original method by which we were allowed to be. 

The Dream of Creation 

We have noted that the world we see as mountains, planets, star 
systems, cities, and the beauty of nature is illusory at its core, though 
real in perception. While a brilliant advance in science, the holographic 
paradigm is inadequate to explain the solid, interactive nature of the 
reality/illusion in which we live. The models of the dream and imagina- 
tion/visualization are more accurate in describing the true nature of 
reality than any corollary of the holographic paradigm or theorem of 
quantum mechanics. When we consider the infinite scope of dreams 
and the limitless span of imagination, we are closer to understanding 
the true nature of creation and the ways of ALL THAT IS. 

The best way to understand the creator is to understand the cre- 
ation, for we reflect ALL THAT IS. In the Book of Genesis it is written, 
"So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he 
him; male and female created he them" (Genesis 1:27). And so it is, 
except that this passage speaks of the male and female body forms 
rather than the more transcendent qualities of the ONE, which are 
formless. To understand the transcendent qualities, indeed the very 
nature of the ONE, those that are beyond form, we must look within to 
understand ourselves. Each of us reflects in every detail the characteris- 
tics of omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence that epitomize the 
ONE. However, we have not evolved to a level of consciousness in 
which we can fully understand, accept, and manifest these qualities. 
Likewise, there is much that we do not understand or accept about the 
connection between dreams, inner travel, and our higher selves — an 
idea we shall explore later. These capabilities are vital links to expand- 
ing our consciousness so as to encompass ALL THAT IS. 

The accounts of creation in the Bible and other religions and myths 
are of course metaphorical. They had to be simple to fit the conscious- 
ness of the time. They depict a process humankind still regards as 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 329 

beyond its capability to even contemplate much less replicate. Indeed, 
it is difficult for us to imagine that we are more than props on a gigantic 
stage in which we have little or no control. However, a different view 
of creation, which requires a higher state of spiritual consciousness, 
reveals that we have much more in common with the process of cre- 
ation and the creator than we imagine. 

The Law of Unity starts from the ONE and describes everything as 
derived from and within the ONE. The process of creation involves 
imagination, visualization, and knowingness identical to our latent 
capabilities. Indeed, since we, like the hologram, are an infinitesimal 
yet complete replica of that from which we derive, how could it be oth- 
erwise? Similarly, our dreams are capable of expressing or enlarging 
upon any experience, idea, or vision in the same manner that the ONE 
dreamed, envisioned, and allowed our independent expression of the 
same powers of creation. When we imagine and visualize, we tap into 
the same creativity. However, we are able to control imagination and 
visualization to a greater degree than we are able to control the content 
of our dreams. Dreams, imagination, and visualization are all reflec- 
tions of the same process by which everything has been created, in both 
the outer and inner worlds. 

Most people imagine that their lives are controlled by forces and 
circumstances outside themselves. The truth is that everything that 
manifests in our outer lives is created by the assumptions and beliefs of 
our inner world. In most instances, individuals are caught in a loop in 
which they believe that external events and circumstances control their 
lives. They accept the premise mandated by outer circumstances and 
extend their existence. This action forms a seemingly endless cycle 
until broken by a more powerful belief. Powerfully held beliefs such as 
"my luck has to change" or "the rainbow follows the rain" may reverse 
a negative spiral in thought patterns and thereby in life. Likewise, fear 
of losing what one already has is a belief that may reverse a pattern of 
positive momentum. In either case, the individual believes in forces 
outside himself rather than in his inherent power to create. It is the 
belief structure that is in control, even though prior actions already in 
motion must play themselves out, even as a new chain of events is set 
in motion. 


We are here to learn this process of creation. It is a microcosm of 
the process of creation, which brings everything into existence. It con- 
tinues every second for every God-soul in the multiple dimensions of 
reality/illusion in which expansion of awareness occurs. When the les- 
son of our own creation is understood and we become conscious cre- 
ators in our own right, we are then able to participate as co-creators in 
the ever-expanding dream of ALL THAT IS. 

The Levels of Reality/Illusion Creation 

The dream of creation proceeded through levels with aspects of 
ALL THAT IS manifesting itself through imaginative dreaming at each 
level of formation. These levels of reality/illusion we call planes, den- 
sities, or inner worlds. They are dimensions, or levels, of the all- 
encompassing dream of ALL THAT IS. At each level, the power of cre- 
ation is embodied in the consciousness of God-souls that compose a 
part of the whole but reflect ITS properties and characteristics. 
Throughout this created universe, God-souls reflect the power of ALL 
THAT IS to the extent that they are aware of and identify with IT. 

Every God-soul, at every level of creation, is responsible to and for 
the whole of creation. Every God-soul ultimately devotes its all toward 
the goal of expanding the consciousness of ALL THAT IS. This occurs 
through the experiences of those who live within a particular level of 
the DREAM. This is as it must be, for the only reality is ALL THAT IS, 
and everything else is a created manifestation within that reality/illu- 
sion. But what propels this dream? What is its source and purpose? 

Some thinkers have spoken of a divine agony that propelled this 
UNITY into a desire for expression, for release. ^^ This was the starting 
point for all creation and explains, in part, the why of the reality /illu- 
sion we experience. These levels of THE DREAM of creation are 
experienced during the dream state or during inner travel. As reflec- 
tions of ALL THAT IS, we are moved by the same desires and expect- 
ancies of ALL THAT IS. Just as we are compelled to act to realize our 
dreams, desires, and expectations, so to is ALL THAT IS driven to 
express the inner compulsion within ITSELF. 

I have felt this powerful motivation. Indeed, this book is a manifes- 
tation of it. It started in fits and starts many years ago and exploded into 
reality after the events of late 200 1 . To not respond would have been to 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 33 1 

deny a commitment that had struggled for expression. Expressing this 
commitment was part of a larger design latent in all God-souls. It is ITS 
desire to have every part of ITSELF achieve self-realization — the 
awareness that God-soul is part of the whole. This same need for 
expression was the motivating force behind the eventual release of 
these inner parts of ITSELF, these God-souls that clamored for expres- 
sion. To realize ITSELF, IT had to release these dream components, 
these ideas that had been crying out for release. Accordingly, IT created 
the universe of inner and outer planes. 

Succeeding levels of creation emanated from each preceding level. 
Through this process, the inner and outer universes were created. Each 
expression, that is, each God-soul, of ALL THAT IS manifests a differ- 
ent level of awareness requiring a mechanism to expand awareness. 
This is the sole purpose for the creation of the planes of the inner uni- 
verse. It also defines the role of all sentient beings. Each God-soul is 
placed in a position within THE DREAM best suited for its spiritual 
growth. Those at higher states of consciousness are entrusted to serve 
and teach so that all parts of ITSELF can become aware of their source. 
And so, the process of spiritual unfolding for all souls within the 
DREAM proceeds. 

While there is agreement in all religions and spiritual paths — and 
now from science — that there are inner worlds, or parallel dimensions, 
there is no agreement on their structure and composition. Both the 
Bible and the Koran depict the creation process and the structure of the 
inner worlds in simplistic terms, describing a single divide between 
heaven and earth. The Koran employs the plural, "heavens" and even 
refers to "seven heavens. "^^ Both the Bible and the Koran were 
designed for the consciousness of the people of their times. They are 
allegorical in nature. They sought to establish spiritual paradigms by 
which social harmony could be maintained and a connection with a 
supreme being made. 

However, the spiritual insights in them limit the evolution of spiri- 
tual consciousness by their static nature: "that's our story and we're 
sticking to it." This is fine, as far as it goes; but spiritual unfolding is 
stymied. Though seldom mentioned from the pulpit, there is a Christian 
tradition that taught methods of inner exploration. The major propo- 


nent of this tradition was St. John of the Cross, whose practices came to 
be called Christian mysticism. Revered as a saint by the Church, he 
held that contemplation through prayer could lead to the mysterious 
experience of God's presence. But Christian mysticism does not help 
the seeker understand the nature of inner experiences. Because it does 
not present a cosmology, or road map, to guide inner experiences. 
Christian mysticism leaves the seeker with a feeling of love and con- 
tact, but little is learned. In this respect, it is like Transcendental Medi- 
tation, which leads to little more than a sense of peacefulness. But there 
is so much more. 

The teachings of the Koran are very practical in nature, focusing 
the adherent's attention on divine worship and servitude. However, a 
mystical sect of Islam, Sufism, speaks of direct experience of God and 
the reality of inner worlds. While the Sufi is loath to reveal the secrets 
that inner experiences reveal, there is much to the inner dimensions of 
reality in Sufism. 

The same can be said of the Kabbalah sect of Judaism. The Kab- 
balah grew out of astrology, myth, magic, Zoroastrianism, and other 
early non Judeo-Christian sources. ^^ The insights of the Kabbalah were 
pursued in spite of admonitions within Jewish scriptures: 

Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are 
round about you; lest the anger of the LORD thy God be kindled against 
thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth (Deuteronomy 6:14- 

The Kabbalah provides an important perspective on cosmology, or the 
structure of the inner worlds. Indeed, it outlines a series of roots with 
predetermined cause and effect relationships. The follower of the Kab- 
balah seeks to achieve a deeper understanding of the reality of God and 
the immensity of His universes. An underlying theme is the notion that 
this sacred knowledge is not for everyone. There are only certain indi- 
viduals — traditionally only men — who become enlightened ones. 
The Kabbalah describes two parallel orders, drawing downward from 
above and upward from below. The former involves receiving the wis- 
dom and assistance from higher worlds as revealed only to the enlight- 
ened, who understand and follow the order's dictates. The upward 
movement is similar to the enlightenment of Eastern religions, except 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 333 

that "attainment," the revelation of Godliness, is achieved by following 
a precise pathway dictated by rules. 

One of the strengths of the Kabbalah, which is also one of its limit- 
ing factors, is the notion of attainment itself. Indeed, the Hebrew word 
for attainment, hasaga, connotes more than mere comprehension. It 
necessitates a knowingness that requires direct experience, which can 
be defined and explained by name or word. And herein lies its limita- 
tion, for there are regions beyond hasaga that are simply beyond y^oxd 
or name. Indeed these inner worlds are often without form and are per- 
ceived only by light and sound and inner knowingness, whose reality 
can only be hinted at, but never expressed in words. I have traveled into 
many of these regions; they are indeed beyond description. I can only 
relate a feeling of expansiveness, of oneness, whose full description 
lies beyond the awkward limitations of vocabulary. 

The Kabbalah recognizes the existence of four inner worlds: Atzi- 
lut, Briah, Yetzirah, and Asiah. The first and highest of these worlds is 
Atzilut, descending to the lowest, the physical world, Asiah. Each 
world is thought to be identical in every detail and event, except that 
they are different in discernment and substance of reality (level of 
vibration, in our words) in each world. It is a tremendous feat for the 
Kabbalah to have developed a lexicon to explain the nature of inner 
experiences. Certainly, few if any other spiritual paths that espouse 
inner travel for spiritual enlightenment have evolved such a vocabu- 

While different in name, the Kabbalah's descriptions of inner 
planes are similar to those described in Shabd Yoga (the yoga of the 
audible life stream) that admits of five main worlds, from the physical 
to Sat Lok — the abode of the One God. While different names are 
given to different regions within the inner worlds, they likely describe 
the same realm. 

Even in Eckankar, which as we have seen was taken from the 
Radhasoami teachings, the planes are virtually identical, though Eck- 
ankar uses more conventional Western terminology to describe them. 
Again, these planes are the physical, astral, causal, mental, and soul 
planes, plus a second level of planes within the "higher worlds" (sev- 
eral of which were formulated and first described by Paul Twitchell). 


Similar descriptions are used in other paths, such as theosophy, which 
is an admixture of Pythagorean Hylozoism, Sufism, Buddhism, and 
Taoism, among others. 

Perhaps the most complex cosmology of the inner worlds is found 
in the work of Henry T. Laurency, which builds on the teachings of 
Pythagoras, later termed Hylozoics (spiritual materialism). In this 
school, all matter has spirit or consciousness, just as all worlds, both 
inner and outer, are spiritual in nature. This view is that all matter is 
alive, either in itself or by association with the ONE, and is undergoing 
some stage of spiritual unfolding, whether conscious or pre-conscious. 
Adherents claim it as the most logical and correct view of creation and 
existence. Proof of its correctness can be established, they claim, 
through logic, explanation, prediction, clairvoyance, and experimenta- 
tion. ^o While complex, Pythagorean Hylozoics offers one of the most 
comprehensive, albeit controversial, explanations of the origin of the 
world (cosmogony) articulated by any spiritual path or scientific the- 

Hylozoics defines all existence as an aspect of a trinity of matter, 
motion, and consciousness. They are interdependent and coterminous. 
All existence, whether physical, astral (dream), causal (memories), 
mental (thought), or higher, consists of this trinity. What we perceive as 
formless and without matter (say, a dream) consists of its own form of 
matter, along with motion and consciousness. It functions at a level of 
vibration indiscernible by physical instrumentation. The entire concept 
of Hylozoics pertains not only to the ways of the manifestation of the 
reality /illusion, but, as we shall see, also with the nature of the source 
of that manifestation. 

Pythagoras called the fundamental units of matter, "monads," the 
smallest units capable of possessing or developing consciousness. 
Defined this way, the idea of consciousness expands to include poten- 
tial consciousness, passive consciousness, and active consciousness. 
Thus, the reality of every plane is "alive" to the possibility of expand- 
ing awareness to encompass the ONE. 

The cosmological view of the Hylozoics is massive in scope. First, 
the cosmos, as we conceive of it, is but one of countless cosmoses at 
various stages of expression. Each cosmos can be seen as a "globe in 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 335 

primordial matter." It starts small and, as it grows, taps an unlimited 
supply of this primordial substance. Space is thus an inexhaustible sup- 
ply of matter. The inner worlds, as well as the physical world, are part 
of a given cosmos and continue to expand until as systematically built 
as ours. Each higher plane supplies the primordial material for the con- 
struct of the plane below it and interpenetrates that plane. Thus, all 
planes occupy the same space in the universe. 

And here is where the Hylozoic construct of the universe takes a 
complex and fantastic departure from the most advanced articulations 
of inner world formation and structure put forth by any religion, spiri- 
tual path, yoga, or scientific theory. Hylozoics postulates the existence 
of forty -nine separate and distinct planes, grouped in a series of seven 
levels, with each series consisting of seven planes — the physical being 
the lowest plane of the last series of seven levels. The implication then 
is that we havQ forty-eight more levels to go before we achieve the 
highest level of spiritual awareness! If Hylozoics is correct in its for- 
mulation, I guess we'll be seeing a lot of each other! 

The Law of Soul and God-soul 

The idea of soul is found in all religions. It is a concept that distin- 
guishes that part of us that survives the mystery of death and enlivens 
flesh to constitute a living person. It may be helpful to deal with some 
terminology. Soul has been used to express different concepts about the 
real self. Some refer to this real self as "spirit" and confuse it with soul. 
Soul and spirit are similar but actually different. Soul is an individual- 
ized and aware unit of spirit, whereas spirit is the energy from which it 
evolved and which sustains it. Soul can also be thought of as the "I Fac- 
tor," the real self, which is contrasted with the "i-Factor," the ego that 
we think we are. 

Soul, the "I-Factor," is a concentrated, individualized expression of 
this energy or life force that has the capacity of awareness. In its sim- 
plest terms, that is what soul is, and that is what we are. Our true form is 
more accurately pictured as a globe of light, a force field of knowing, 
aware energy. Though individualized, we are clothed in and sur- 
rounded by this life force called spirit, chi, prana, and many other 
names. It sustains our existence and activates, energizes, and manifests, 
both in outer and inner reality, the impressions and thought images gen- 


erated in the act of thinking. Thought, in turn, is an expression of the 
awareness that we are. 

This awareness, which expresses our unique beingness as soul, ful- 
fills its highest expression as knowingness (omniscience), oneness, or 
unity (omnipresence), and the capacity to tap, at will, the power of 
spirit (omnipotence). These we will call the "infinite capabilities." 
Every soul possesses these capabilities, but few are able to express 
them in daily life. (We will come to see that learning to express these 
capabilities in life is why we are here in the physical dimension of real- 
ity.) So vast are these powers that soul must endure rigorous training in 
the physical realm and other dimensions of reality/illusion before it can 
function in its pure state, exercising its infinite capabilities. To prepare 
soul for the conscious expression of itself, it takes on outer forms in 
dimensions of reality below the soul plane, its "base of operation" so to 
speak. At the level of the soul plane, it can express and experience 
these infinite capabilities without limitation. 

It is important at this juncture to draw a distinction that I did not 
grasp during my early studies of esoteric wisdom. The concept of soul, 
as traditionally taught, represents only a small portion of the whole that 
makes up who we are spiritually. The greater, more substantial aspect 
of our being I have referred to as "God-soul." You have encountered 
this term several times, but it is now appropriate to delve into it more 
deeply. I have coined this term to represent this higher-self. Its reality is 
not unknown to us; we encounter it daily. Some call it the "still small 
voice" or conscience. Sigmund Freud referred to an aspect of it as 
"superego." He taught that superego is the source of negative guidance, 
in the form of prohibitions, criticisms, and inhibitions, and of positive 
direction in the form of aspirations and ethics. He gave it little spiritual 
significance, preferring instead to attribute this guidance simply to the 
internalization of parental and societal standards. 

While these factors are undoubtedly powerful influences, espe- 
cially during formative years, they do not explain everything. Our aspi- 
rations, impulses to achieve, and predilections arise from a deep, 
transcendent place, not simply from parents and society. Nor does this 
explain the guidance we receive, unrelated to conscious thoughts, to 
help us in day-to-day life and guide us in an emergency. Most of us 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 337 

have experienced the protective nature of the higher self in moments of 
distress. Something within directs us in ways that often astonish us. It is 
involved in the tiniest details of our life: how much salt to add to a 
soup, how many rolls of toilet paper to buy. It is the higher facet of who 
we are. We often fail to heed it. So persistent is this voice at times that 
we may resort to alcohol or drugs to quell its counsel. When we contin- 
uously ignore it, it recedes and waits for the moment when experience 
moves us to listen. These experiences are evidence of its existence, yet 
they are often misconstrued. We are apt to credit a savior, master, mah- 
anta, spirit, guardian angel, or something else rather than our higher 
selves. This is because our present state of consciousness tells us we 
are not powerful beings. As we shall see, it is God-soul that is the true 
master, teacher, and guardian. 

God-soul guides our outer life and also the lives of other parts of 
itself experiencing existence in other dimensions of reality simulta- 
neously. Together, they make up the totality of who we are. This may 
be difficult to comprehend, but the many and varied experiences of our 
dreams are clues that something else is going on within our inner uni- 
verses beside our experiences in the physical dimension. Indeed, 
almost everyone has returned from a dream, initially startled to find 
herself in a physical body. It takes a moment or two to become reac- 
quainted with her host shell. Once the reality of our shell is acknowl- 
edged, we are again overwhelmed by reality/illusion and proceed with 
our lives as if nothing had happened in the dream worlds. Yet faint rec- 
ollections of the dream linger and whisper who we really are and the 
role of our higher-selves. Soul then, represents a part of God-soul that 
expresses itself through this life but is not the totality of our spiritual 
being. But it is still who we are, not a stranger in our midst. (Through- 
out this book, I refer to soul and God-soul interchangeably, because 
distinction would be more pedantic than helpful.) 

Another point needs to be addressed. There are many entities that 
are like us but more spiritually advanced, who act as teachers, guides, 
and protectors. They serve those who venture into the inner realms. 
They are there to aid and assist soul in its unfolding as their part of the 
Great Work. But the higher self is the primary tutor and screener of 
such assistance. Trust in its guidance strengthens the connection 
between our higher self and our conscious outer self. Fear and loneli- 


ness only play into the hands of entities that prey on those who mani- 
fest vulnerability. Such people do not know their power and bow to 
anything that may inwardly appear to them. This is how orthodox reli- 
gions do a great disservice to their followers. They provide them with a 
weak inner paradigm, akin to a child and Santa Claus, as preparation 
for the inner experiences they will encounter. With no understanding of 
the distinctions in the roles of inner beings and their often dubious level 
of spiritual attainment, they are apt to follow any being that may 
appear, as if God spoke to them. In short, those who follow orthodox 
religions, and even those under the mystique of a gum or master, are in 
need of a paradigm overhaul to understand what is occurring in their 
inner worlds. 

Our true power as God-soul is so vast that we cannot access it until 
we expand our awareness. We must encompass and become aware of 
that aspect of our physical shell that animates it (soul) and lives far 
beyond its demise. In time, consciousness expands to encompass God- 
soul. In stages, we become aware of God-soul, surrender to it, and then 
live through its consciousness. God-soul awareness is beyond what is 
commonly thought of as self-realization, which encompasses aware- 
ness of ourselves as soul but not our higher selves. Other expressions of 
our higher self manifest in other dimensions of time-space but are inte- 
grated with the whole and contribute to the expansion of awareness of 
the greater part of ourselves. The higher self can appear as something 
apart from and greater than who we are. Communication with our 
higher self can often be misconstrued as "conversations with God," 
which is accurate only to the extent that we are a spark of ALL THAT 
IS. Accordingly, this level of inner awareness is sometimes miscon- 
strued as God-Realization. 

The Nature of ALL THAT IS 

It is the growth of awareness of soul that expands the awareness of 
ALL THAT IS, for IT is a collective of enlightened God-souls func- 
tioning as ONE state of consciousness. Once expanded to this level of 
awareness, God-souls can choose to enfold with ALL THAT IS or 
function as individual consciousness carrying out tasks within the 
whole, for the good of the whole. 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 339 

Our bodies reflect this same reality. Each body cell is a separate 
unit of awareness functioning as part of a collective in which we, as the 
predominate God-soul, attempt to direct and control its course. Often 
this mass of cells is more intent on following its own course than on 
functioning as a part of the whole. The harmony we seek within our 
own universe is achieved only when we understand the state of con- 
sciousness that stimulates inner unity and cooperation, then strive to 
live within this state. This is the goal of self-mastery, a state that many 
claim to have achieved, but few actually have, for the essential ingredi- 
ent that propels God-soul to the state of mastery is love. 

The Law of Love 

Aspects of this law are widely recognized in religious and modern 
literature. Love is the glue that unites and supports all that happens in 
the universe and in the lives of every living being. Thus, in that it 
defines the singularity of purpose and the ways for all life, the Law of 
Love is another expression of the Law of Unity. Most people conceive 
of love as an emotion, a feeling. In many respects, this identifies char- 
acteristics of this property of ALL THAT IS. But beyond what we 
experience as love from the human state of consciousness, love is a 
force, an energy field, a vibration, distinct from the emotion that human 
consciousness attaches to it. Thought of in this manner, love is a har- 
monic vibration. When we align ourselves with it, we contact, vibrate 
at the same level as, and connect with the highest qualities of ALL 
THAT IS. Any other state of consciousness separates us from the unit- 
ing force of the universe. We feel unconnected as we look for that elu- 
sive something. The problem is that we look somewhere else, rather 
than realize love is here and now — within us. We are the source of 
love and can tap its enormous power, the power of the universe, only 
when our conscious vibration, by choice of thought, is to love. 

As we move higher up the ladder of consciousness, from mineral 
to plant to animal to human, we are given assistance. In lower levels, it 
is in the form of instincts and genetic predispositions. Later, we are 
given the ability to make conscious choices that have instructive conse- 
quences, leading to increasing levels of choice and more instructive 
consequences. In the end, we learn to choose love as the binding, tran- 
scendent force that liberates us from the pain of earthly existence. In 


the state of consciousness of love, we rise above distractions of money 
and things. Our motivations and goals change. Serving the ONE 
becomes the most important aspect of our lives. 

This concept is initially difficult to grasp. How can everything be 
an expression of love when negativity and evil are rampant? How can 
the notion of a God of love be reconciled with occurrences that are 
hardly expressions of love? To better understand this, it is necessary 
further to explore the meaning of soul and spirit. As we have seen, soul 
is the animating principle in all-living things. It is composed of and is a 
vitalized unit of spirit. It expresses and is a spark of its divine creator. In 
its pure form, it is capable of expressing the characteristics of its cre- 
ator: omniscience, omnipotence, and omnipresence. Spirit is the force 
that permeates the universe, sustains all life, and expresses itself 
through and comprises all living things. 

The creation of the universe, all levels and aspects, is for the pur- 
pose of teaching soul its innate power and ultimately its role and 
responsibility in the operation of the universe. Without grasping this, it 
is impossible to understand life and soul's purpose in being here. The 
seen and unseen universes make up a series of classrooms in which 
soul is provided the necessary experiences that lead to recognition of 
what it is, its inherent powers, and its ultimate purpose. 

That is why the notion of sin is so misguided. It may be comforting 
to believe that someone or something has taken away our sins, but it is 
a misleading palliative. For we have already seen how sin is the stuff 
from which lessons of spiritual growth emerge. Forgiveness becomes 
necessary only because of the fallacious idea that man is born in sin. 
Fortunately, saviors abound to grant the absolution that sinners need, 
forming a cycle of dependence for those with low self-esteem. The 
need for help in life is unquestionable, but not the variety peddled by 
most religions. Their help comes at a price, for we are kept from the 
truth that leads to spiritual empowerment, the recognition of ourselves 
as God- soul. 

Before soul is allowed to exercise the awesome powers that are its 
birthright, it must demonstrate, by the exercise of free will, decision- 
making, and choice, that it is prepared for this responsibility. The train- 
ing is difficult and cannot be mastered in a single lifetime. Indeed, it 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 341 

requires numerous lifetimes, in many life forms. The support soul 
needs for this training is embodied in spirit. Spirit, in turn, is an expres- 
sion of pure love. In other words, soul exists not because of God's love 
for it so much as because soul's existence is what gives conscious 
expression to ALL THAT IS. Soul is what IT is. They are ONE. 

Love is the fluid of life, the connection between the ONE and all 
souls that are but the children of ITS dreams. They are allowed to expe- 
rience, to know, and to be, thus expanding the scope of ALL THAT IS. 
Without love, IT could not create. With love, all is explained, all is 
understood. This vast universe and all of the dimensions of reality, 
known and unknown are sustained by love. Thoughts and imagination 
are allowed existence through our love for, and spiritual energy 
directed at, their manifestation. 

Love is not the simple expression of good we might imagine. It is 
pure force, energy directed equally into all thoughts, good and evil. 
Viewing love in simple, emotional terms is wrong. But it does have a 
salutary end. Using this power for ends that are essentially negative 
produces results in conflict with the creative, expanding nature of this 
force. IT allows negativity to exist to teach soul the consequences of 
using this energy in that way. Such experiences lead soul to choose the 
sustaining, caring aspect of this force. Thus, every negative choice and 
the lessons learned lead to soul's growth. 

From this perspective, negativity takes on a completely different 
meaning. Evil is usually explained as the opposite of Good. But it is not 
opposite or even separate; it is a necessary part of growth and expan- 
sion of awareness, which is the true manifestation of love in our lives. 
As the universal design is more fully understood, it becomes clear that 
negativity is part of the divine force. It plays a vital role in the educa- 
tion of soul. The simplistic, anthropomorphic renditions of the devil, 
the Kal, and the like miss the point. They also, as often as not, provide a 
scapegoat for actions and consequences that their progenitors would 
rather disavow. A child cannot learn the vital lesson of avoiding fire 
until it experiences pain. This is where the Law of Duality comes into 
play. We can only learn and know something in relationship to its oppo- 
site. Soul can make the choice to move in a positive direction only if it 
has the freedom to choose and experience its opposite. This is why soul 


is given the gift of free will. This is why freedom is so vital to our spir- 
itual development. 

Soul seeks to return home. Its happiest moments are but a faint 
memory of a bliss for which it endlessly searches. Once this quest for 
spiritual happiness and joy begins, soul searches everywhere. At first, it 
reaches for "all the gusto it can find," thinking that it only "goes around 
once." Hedonistic pursuit is part of soul's journey and lesson. In time, it 
comes to see the futility in this and yearns for something lasting and 
fulfilling. In time, soul seeks a higher expression of consciousness and 
eventually yearns to realize the source of its creation. But soul must 
choose the quest for spiritual growth. That choice only comes through 
the exercise of free will. This involves a voluntary selection from avail- 
able alternatives that include evil, negativity, and all other expressions 

Avoidance of negative experiences provides little understanding of 
the reality oflife. It may even stimulate a temptation to try "everything 
I've missed." On the other hand, an individual might live in an ego- 
driven state of moral superiority masquerading as understanding. That 
is why morality and rules, while essential for society and as guidance in 
the early stages of spiritual growth, only go so far. In the end, they do 
little for individual spiritual development if they only keep us away 
from experiences against our will. No matter how far the individual 
may appear to drift, living life and having experiences are necessary 
parts of spiritual unfolding. 

Therefore, excessive emphasis on morality and religious strictures 
as a substitute for inner spiritual guidance only delays spiritual devel- 
opment. A decision made in ignorance of the options or without free 
will is not helpful to spiritual growth. When soul freely experiences all 
aspects of life and their consequences, it eventually learns that there is 
only one path to the divine. It is then that the yearning to find the path 
increases and a God-seeker comes alive. The enlightened exercise of 
free will eventually leads to participation in the operation of the uni- 
verses of ALL THAT IS, the Great Work. This is the destiny of all 

The full meaning of love cannot be understood within the span of a 
single lifetime. A problem of most religions is their inability to explain 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 343 

why a loving God would allow calamities to befall humankind: the 
birth of a crippled child, the poverty of a nation, the slavery of a people, 
and the death of thousands due to natural or human causes. When 
viewed from the perspective of a single lifetime, most of these phe- 
nomena do not make sense. People justifiably wonder what they have 
done to deserve such a result. It is precisely this logic that has been the 
basis for explanations of tragic events since the beginning of civiliza- 
tion, and they continue to be heard today. These calamities were and 
still are seen as the acts of a vengeful God, set to punish an individual 
or group for a transgression. This logic has supported the concept of a 
God to be feared. Only the concept of conditional love (if you are good, 
you are blessed; but if you are bad, you are punished) provides a spiri- 
tual rationale for events when viewed from the perspective of a single 

When one considers that soul lives many lifetimes and expands its 
awareness through countless experiences, the idea that all events are 
part of the system of love designed to teach and train begins to make 
sense. Exercising the gift of free will makes individuals responsible for 
their circumstances and creations, the foundation on which all spiritual 
growth occurs. To blame our situation on anything or anyone else is to 
miss the essential point of soul's freedom and the gift of free will. 

The loving parent, while teaching and guiding, permits the child to 
have its own experiences and to learn from them. To shelter the child 
from consequences may seem an act of love in the short-term, but it 
hampers the child's development in the long-run. Tough love requires 
that parents sometime permit the child to experience painful conse- 
quences of their actions. This is the most difficult yet the highest and 
most beneficial expression of love. Divine love is the highest expres- 
sion of this tough love. It permits soul the full range of expression and 
total responsibility for the consequences of its actions. This is how all 
living things progress and expand in awareness. At first, the lessons are 
simply about survival. The animal learns what it must do to survive. It 
is, in time, reborn in another life form to learn more lessons that lead to 
a greater capacity to survive. As brutal as the law of survival may 
appear, it is an expression of divine love, though shorn of the emotion- 
ality, morality, and judgment that clouds our ability to perceive love in 
its divine and pure state. 


As this awareness expands, soul is given the experience of living in 
a higher form capable of providing it with a greater range of experi- 
ences and choices. Thus, divine love permits us to have our own expe- 
riences to learn the lessons of life and expand consciousness. The act of 
a loving God, just as that of a loving parent, is to guide and teach the 
child while allowing it to learn from its own experiences. This is pre- 
cisely what happens to soul. 

Soul may not have the opportunity to complete a full life-cycle and 
may end a particular lifetime at any point. But the lessons of soul do not 
end then. Soul retains a record of all that it is, has done and learned, 
over its many lifetimes, in various body forms: not the mundane facts 
and trivia of life, but the transcendent lessons that apply to any time 
period or culture. These experiences set up the conditions of its subse- 
quent lifetime. This is what is commonly known as karma, or the Law 
of Cause and Effect. The individual who has inflicted pain on another 
could return and experience the same pain by living his life as a victim 
of some sort. Or, he may return to care for an afflicted person as part of 
the learning necessary for soul's evolution. Experience and ingrained 
recollections are designed to prevent him from repeating the same 
experiences. But if soul repeats the transgressions, it must repeat the 
consequences until it has learned and can move on. This is the system 
of love that allows soul the experiences it needs to liberate itself from 
the cycle of cause and effect. When we see life's continuity and recog- 
nize that soul learns best through its own experiences, we are able to 
grasp the concept that soul lives in a love system, which permits it to 
have countless experiences, from lifetime to lifetime, aimed at the sin- 
gle goal of expanding awareness. 

Our visible universe is indeed nothing more than a classroom. It 
was never intended to be a place of "peace on earth, goodwill toward 
men." It was always intended as a place of learning, where souls in dif- 
ferent states of consciousness experience life, express themselves, and 
receive the consequences of decisions and actions. 

The Spiritual Hierarchy 

The Law of Unity encompasses not only the fundamental system of 
love underlying everything, but also the structure by which this system 
is administered and the levels of creation that are part of soul's class- 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 345 

room. These planes constitute the worlds in which soul has its experi- 
ences, once it has mastered the lessons of the physical universe. These 
inner worlds are not as strange and unknown to us as we may think. We 
have all traveled into them during the dream state but have usually dis- 
missed these travels as meaningless. These regions are far more than 
simply "the stuff of dreams." The inner worlds make up a vast cosmol- 
ogy, including the many universes that exist in completely different 
dimensions of reality. Few have explored them, but they are open to all 
who develop the consciousness to experience them. 

The various dimensions of reality are vast, far greater in size, 
dimension, and wonder than the visible universe. The physical universe 
is the lowest of these dimensions. It is the beginning classroom, the 
first grade in soul's development. It is watched over by "administra- 
tors." They aid soul in its upward movement and expansion of con- 
sciousness, until, one day, it assumes its role in administering the 
universes of God. 

These planes are given different names by different spiritual paths. 
The number of planes ranges from five to as many as forty-nine, 
depending on the path. Though there is debate on names and numbers, 
for now, it is sufficient to name and describe those planes for which 
there is fairly common agreement. We might also submit that soul may 
journey into worlds heretofore unknown. The planes are: 

• The Physical Plane: Encompasses the entire physical uni- 
verse, including the stars, planets, and all material phe- 

• The Astral Plane: Encompasses the universes most com- 
monly visited during dream experience, out-of-body 
travel, and the dimension first experienced by soul at the 
transition known as death. This vast region encompasses 
cities, regions, and other places appearing much as they do 
in the physical world. 

• The Causal Plane: A dimension of reality that is the repos- 
itory of past life experiences and of the future time track, 
which exists only as possibilities. This is the region that 
prognosticators such as Nostradamus were able to visit to 


foresee events. This is also the dimension that individuals 
visit in order to learn of and experience past lives. 

• The Mental Plane: This region functions at a higher level 
of vibration and corresponds to a unique universe where 
the heavens of most major world religions are located. It is 
the plane where the city with streets paved with gold 
(referred to in the Bible) is reputed to exist. This is the 
highest level thought to exist in most world religions. 

• The Etheric Plane: Another universe thought to be associ- 
ated with the upper regions of the Mental World. It is most 
closely associated with intuition. It is an aspect of the 
mental region but represents a higher faculty than reason 
and therefore functions at a higher vibration level. 

• Soul Plane: The level at which soul lives in its pure form, 
shorn of all lower bodies, and capable of moving into any 
part of any level of existence. It is the level at which soul 
experiences pure knowingness beyond the level of mental 
knowledge or intuition. 

The Law of Duality: The Nature of Good and Evil 

The Law of Duality expresses the idea that the full meaning of 
something is only known in relation to its opposite. Put another way, 
reality consists of two equally valid components. Our growth flows out 
of the experiences we have in one aspect or the other of a thing. We 
would not understand the meaning of "up" except in relation to the con- 
cept of "down." "Beauty" has meaning only in relation to "ugly." The 
Law of Duality provides a basis for our understanding of the experi- 
ences of life. It also offers, in every situation, a choice that permits the 
exercise of free will. A brief extrapolation from this Law leads to the 
realization that duality exists in every situation, experience, and aspect 

Another aspect of this Law is that all events, circumstances, 
objects, and things are inherently positive and negative simultaneously. 
It is the reality that we see within them, accept as truth, and act upon 
that defines a thing or situation as positive or negative. Most individu- 
als do not recognize this or its implications. Our nature is to simplify, to 
see only one dimension of a thing at any time. We even go so far as to 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 347 

characterize "no news" as "good news." In this simple example, we 
find an important misinterpretation of the Law. "No news" is really "no 
news." And even when the result, the actual news, presents itself, we 
are still left with the decision of which aspect of the reality to focus on 
— a choice that determines our future. 

We see the Law of Duality at work in the reaction of two people to 
the same event. The loss of a job is a tragedy for one who sees the event 
from the perspective of only its negative implications. Yet another indi- 
vidual, longing to break free of the constraints of that job, might view 
the same event from the perspective of its opposite and see opportuni- 
ties in new freedom. "One person's trash is another person's treasure," 
is a common expression. Because we view only one side of the contin- 
uum of duality as correct for a particular situation, we constantly jump 
to one reality or the other, choosing to see only one side of duality. This 
mass consciousness can lead to ostracism, or worse, for speaking one's 
mind on a certain side of a matter. The term "politically correct" has 
emerged as a way of expressing societal constraint on voicing affirma- 
tion or negation. This is not to say that society cannot or should not 
impose restraints on the articulation of certain truths. Indeed, because 
of the action of universal law, it is a necessary constraint. Societies, 
however organized, have a tendency to protect themselves by praising 
or condemning certain ideas and thoughts. What is important is what 
ideas are controlled and who does the controlling. 

The person who chooses the path of fame, wealth, and glory may 
discover, upon reaching these goals, that she is trapped, hounded, 
lonely, and unable to fully enjoy or appreciate her "good fortune." Iron- 
ically, some persons in this situation wish to experience life as average 
persons. Others are able to fully appreciate the set of positive options 
and freedoms that their position offers and focus on the joy and happi- 
ness it presents, while accepting its limitations. 

Accordingly, no choice or situation is devoid of its opposite. 
Another way of expressing this is that every situation has possibilities 
and limitations. The homeless come and go as they choose, free of 
bills, mortgages, commitments, and obligations. In some ways, this is 
the ultimate expression of freedom, with possibilities and choices far 
greater than those of the celebrity who must disguise herself to experi- 


ence a degree of freedom. But homelessness also entails great hardship, 
which calls for no elaboration. 

We may consider ourselves blessed or cursed. Both realities exist; 
both realities are true. Thus, the exercise of free will is present in every 
situation, at all times. Life boils down to the choices we make every 
instant of our lives. Our inner and outer reality is always a reflection of 
the choices we make between these two realities. Both exist and both 
are equally logical and possible. It is all a matter of the exercise of free 
will, the exercise of choice. Let me give a personal illustration. 

My company had long depended on a particular business relation- 
ship, which suddenly came to an end. Our initial reaction was fear and 
gloom: jobs would be lost and paychecks would not go out on time — 
concerns that nagged the staff. From one perspective, the future of the 
company was bleak, until, in a staff meeting, someone announced that 
this was good news. After the voices of "are you crazy?" ebbed, a posi- 
tive view of the situation was presented. The comfort of the former 
business relationship had held the company back from seeking other 
clients. We had an opportunity to step free and use the energy created 
by this change to pursue options that had always existed but were never 
explored. This perspective won the day, and the company propelled 
itself to a new level. This new posture for the company may never have 
been reached without choosing to act upon the "good news" rather than 
brooding about the "bad news." 

The Law of Polarity 

Similar to the Law of Duality is the Law of Polarity. It focuses on 
another aspect of this reality. The Law of Duality focuses on the posi- 
tive and negative possibilities in a situation. The Law of Polarity 
addresses the tendency of events to evolve into opposites, depending 
on the choices we make. Thus, from the adversity of early childhood, 
the adult developed great strength and confidence, which made him a 
leader. From the seeds of this apparently one-sided hardship came 
internal strength, dedication, and perseverance, which led to later suc- 
cess. Equally, from the seeds of wealth, opportunity, and privilege, as 
with the life of Howard Hughes, came isolation, loneliness, and para- 
noia. From negative traits arise the seeds for reversal, a reversal guar- 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 349 

anteed by the painful reminder that the consequences of continuation 
will go on until changed. 

The Law of Polarity can be seen in history. Some events appear on 
the surface to be wholly good or bad. Though it may be difficult to see 
the opposite reality in an event, greater distance, or greater levels of 
consciousness, are necessary to see the opposite reality and its potential 
emergence. The existence of Hitler, while grotesque in its impact, also 
served as a catalyst for positive consequences that might never have 
occurred — the creation of a Jewish homeland. But from this came the 
displacement of the Palestinians, leaving them without a homeland. 
And so it goes, on and on, each event in itself perceived as good or bad 
but also containing the seeds of its opposite. 

In considering this aspect of spirit, we might ask, what is the pur- 
pose of it all? How can we ever win the game of life? It seems as if the 
entire deck is stacked. How can we understand events if things that 
appear positive have negative consequences? Toward what purpose is 
this design directed? The answer is not as difficult to comprehend as 
we might think. The generic nature of spirit is to respond to every 
thought form placed within it to expand awareness through experience 
to the full recognition of soul's unity with ALL THAT IS. Through this 
process, soul ultimately becomes a conscious partner with ALL THAT 
IS in the maintenance and operation of the universes. 

The Law of Spirit 

Understanding the nature of spirit is essential to comprehending the 
forces that shape our lives. Variously called spirit, chi, the force, shabd, 
prana, it is all the same. It expresses itself as intelligence, creativity, 
wisdom, protection, guidance, and is integrally involved with every 
aspect of our lives, small and large. It is the vehicle that sustains all life 
in all universes. It works in all life forms: through instinct in lower ani- 
mals and through conscious choice in humans. It is ubiquitous. It func- 
tions as the source of all knowingness. It represents the database, the 
repository of all wisdom and knowledge. Such knowledge need not be 
retained by a single individual, but can be tapped, as needed, from the 
wellspring of all knowledge. Spirit, flowing from ALL THAT IS, is the 
source of consciousness and comprises consciousness itself. Soul itself 
is an aware, concentrated aspect of spirit consciousness. As soul, it coa- 


lesces and unfolds into an individualized unit capable of independent 
thought and awareness. It works in harmony and partnership with its 
origin, ALL THAT IS and the higher-self. Spirit responds whenever a 
thought form is put forth. Every thought form makes an impression on 
this unformed energy field. In turn, it responds creatively to produce an 
effect in the outer world. It manifests thought forms consistent with its 
generic nature, which is to serve the whole. 

To understand the workings of this universal force is to understand 
life itself and also to participate in its process. Where do we start in try- 
ing to understand spirit? It is with energy. At one level, it is molecules 
and atoms and electrons and protons and quarks, and even smaller par- 
ticles or waves. It also manifests as light and sound, though these are 
not its principal constituents. Instead, and more fundamental in nature, 
it is motion, matter, and consciousness. Light and sound — indeed, all 
wave and particle manifestations — are but aspects at different levels 
of motion, matter, and consciousness. What is perceived as wave, parti- 
cle, or some other form of energy, is, at the next higher level of exist- 
ence, perceived as a form of matter. But in each case, it combines the 
properties of motion and consciousness, which together create exist- 
ence at all levels and dimensions of reality. 

This concept is more fully developed in Pythagorean Hylozoics^i 
(discussed earlier), which expresses a view of the fundamental nature 
of spirit, and therefore of life itself. Quantum theory and the holo- 
graphic paradigm hint at the nature of spirit, that is, they present some 
of its complexity, yet miss much of its simplicity. At the most funda- 
mental level, it is thought, it is feeling, it is love. It is everywhere and 
makes up everything. It transmutes into all forms and exists at all vibra- 
tory levels, in the physical dimension and every other plane within the 
inner and outer universe. The things that we observe in our dreams and 
conscious inner travels are also made of this stuff, though existing at a 
different and finer level of vibration and substance. That it has con- 
sciousness is axiomatic, for it flows from the reality of ALL THAT IS, 
which is all consciousness. 

Spirit is in touch with all. It comprises thought forms and dimen- 
sions, which make up the substance of the illusion called life. There is a 
purpose for this illusion, a scheme behind creation. It is both explicable 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 35 1 

and purposeful. But more foundation is required before it can be fully 
understood. For now, it is sufficient to say that spirit is all that there is, 
because it is the way of ALL THAT IS. We are it; we live in it; we 
respond to it; and it responds to us. 

When trying to grasp something as omnipresent, omnipotent, and 
omniscient as spirit, we are forced to describe it from many viewpoints. 
There is much that is known about this force and more that can be said 
about its nature. Apart from the responsive aspect of its way, spirit 
appears to have a plan or purpose — a nature — that is no less than to 
carry out the prime directive of ALL THAT IS. That purpose, as best 
can be discerned, is to work with each soul to enhance its survivability 
and promote the expansion of consciousness of that soul. The expan- 
sion of consciousness moves each soul to a point at which it becomes 
aware of itself as a part of spirit and ALL THAT IS. It comes to under- 
stand its innate power and its eternal role as a partner with the infinite. 
It then serves other souls by helping them to achieve an expansion of 
consciousness to an awareness of ALL THAT IS. I call this the Great 
Work. Spirit does this in a way that enhances the growth and learning 
of all souls, no matter their state of development. 

Works for the Good of the Whole 

Of all the concepts that describe spirit, the one that best conveys its 
nature is that it works for the good of the whole. The concept of serving 
the whole may appear strange in a society that stresses individualism. 
Life is a reflection of spirit's capacity to meet the needs of each and 
every life form. Yet the outcomes of life's experience often seem not to 
fulfill our specific wishes. This is particularly true when those wishes 
are of a selfish nature, devoid of concern for others. This is where spirit 
defines the outcome of our wishes to balance the selfishness of those 
still functioning in lower states of consciousness. 

It is not the nature of spirit to assist only a part, that is, the concerns 
of one person or group. When selfish outcomes are attempted, the 
result is often short-lived or detrimental to the person. It is the nature of 
spirit to spread its blessings so that the totality of life benefits. In this 
statement lies a vital clue to the nature of true success. When goals are 
achieved that benefit more than just the individual, it is considered 
magnanimous, powerful, special. Society awards accolades to those 


who manifest such highly developed levels of awareness. They become 
our saviors, lords, masters, saints, Nobel Laureates, heroes, and philan- 
thropists. Their uniting characteristic is that they are "givers," serving 
the good of the whole, serving spirit. 

Another way of describing its nature is love — a love for all life. 
When we try to limit the blessings of spirit to our loved ones and our- 
selves, we are working against its nature and placing limits on its 
capacity to bless us. If we fail to understand this, we experience disap- 
pointments in life and perhaps even turn away from spirit in the belief 
that it does not exist, or is too perplexing for us to want it in our lives. 

Everything in the universe is created from spirit and is spirit. Yet in 
its undifferentiated form, it is pure energy, unformed, undefined, wait- 
ing to be activated by thought. The pure energy of spirit is hardly a 
blind, dumb force. Indeed, it formulates plans and strategies and exe- 
cutes the impressions made upon it by thought. Operating beyond time 
and space, it is not limited in its capacity to receive our thoughts and 
respond by using the channel that is open and willing to respond. Such 
is spirit's genius in working out ITS plan, remaining consistent with its 
generic nature, even as it manifests our thoughts and dreams. 

This is how the marooned sailor or the lost camper is found. As 
thought is sent into the infinite, unlimited, unmanifested center of pure 
consciousness, it responds. Willing entities (free will is always at work) 
receive thoughts and suggestions to take a different route, to act in a 
particular manner, all as part of a solution. It is stimulated and 
enhanced by the power of belief, knowing, and certainty. Thought and 
belief, which are of course within our control, determine the speed and 
certitude of success in our mutual endeavors with spirit. But, it is also 
our action in response to the opportunities that it presents, which is 
determinative. For, we are the vehicles that carry out the work of spirit 
and complete the formula of a mutually reciprocal relationship. 

Responsiveness of Spirit 

Responsiveness is one of the wonderful characteristics of spirit that 
explains its interaction with us to achieve our goals. We knowingly or 
unknowingly work with it every moment of our lives. Sometimes we 
are so presumptuous as to think we control it. But this reflects how little 
we know of spirit's ways. It leads to adverse outcomes that are an inex- 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 353 

orable part of life. In this regard, we can see that most people do not 
realize that the cause of adverse consequences is themselves. Respon- 
siveness is the quality of spirit that reflects back in life the thoughts, 
feelings, and images we place in it. We place a great deal of emphasis 
on action, as indeed we should, for we can see its consequences more 
clearly and more immediately. Yet, we seem to pay little attention to 
monitoring our thoughts, attitudes, and feelings, despite their impor- 
tance in shaping our lives. 

We can learn a great deal from sports, where there is an apprecia- 
tion of monitoring what the athlete thinks. Successful athletes know 
that physical prowess is not the most important factor in victory. Suc- 
cess turns on the ability to control moods, feelings, and thoughts. We 
see this frequently in a contest when momentum has clearly swung to 
one side, which, in our terms, is the shift in thought and belief that man- 
ifests in the actions of players. Those with momentum on their side 
make Herculean efforts. Those who have lost it try hard, yet cannot do 
their best. Unless they change their thoughts and feelings, the game is 
over. A slip, a bobble, or great play is all it takes to change non-belief to 
belief. If these same athletes learn to better control thoughts, feelings, 
and beliefs, they will have the key to success. 

This is precisely what great athletes have over others. They induce 
the desired state of consciousness when needed to maximize perfor- 
mance. This ability is not difficult to learn. It is not that we are born 
with it as much as we stumble into it. But it can be taught and will be 
presented in a later chapter. 

If the true power of thought were understood, we would more vig- 
orously control our exposure to gossip, negative persons, and distaste- 
ful media presentations. They would be avoided as we would any other 
unpleasantness. We are what we think, and our lives reflect the 
thoughts and beliefs we let predominate. "Reaping what you sow" is a 
popular expression that suggests our culture's partial understanding of 
spirit's responsive nature. This aphorism is usually associated with 
action, but action is preceded by thought. Hence, their importance must 
be realized too. 

Every thought, word, and action, no matter how small, makes an 
impression on spirit. Spirit hears every expression from every life 


form. It can be likened to sand on a beach that receives an impression, 
depending on the force of the object placed on it. Fortunately, not every 
thought, word, or action makes a sufficient impression on spirit to 
result in an out-picturing, or manifestation, in the physical realm. This 
is the safety valve installed at this level of existence (the physical 
plane) to prevent us from wreaking havoc on ourselves while learning 
the principle of mental discipline. This aspect of the law of attitudes 
protects the person who shouts in anger, "I wish you were dead!" 
Within a matter of minutes, he may have completely different thoughts 
and feelings. The one who holds this idea longer, and attaches feeling 
and visualization to it, may cause it to manifest in physical form and 
harm others. However, the spiritual price for this is severe. Soul even- 
tually learns through the balancing aspect of spirit, the Law of Cause 
and Effect (reaping what you sow), that such powers are not to be 
treated as toys. 

The Nature of Prayer 

Prayer is a means of calling upon the responsive nature of spirit. 
However, it often fails due to a misunderstanding of its nature. Most 
prayer proceeds from the assumption of a benevolent deity that 
responds to our entreaties or not, depending on our worthiness. This 
has some validity, at least in an oblique way. Yet, it misses the point 
that spirit's responsiveness to our prayers has nothing to do with moral- 
ity, as we normally use the term, and everything to do with the Law of 
Spirit. This holds that spirit is responsive to any idea or thought placed 
in it. Once placed there, the duration and intensity of focus and belief 
determine the extent and speed of spirit's responsiveness. These subor- 
dinate laws will now be examined. 

The Power of the IndividuaVs Belief 

"The faith of the mustard seed" is a metaphor describing the purity 
of belief in effecting change, even "moving mountains." The seed, as a 
living thing, is in spirit and communicates with it. It has total and com- 
plete belief, knowingness, and a certainty that it will become a mustard 
tree. A belief this total can achieve anything: walk on water, multiply 
loaves and fishes, and even create universes. Everything happens 
through the power of spirit, initiated by thought, exponentially 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 355 

expanded through belief, and brought into being by its inherent intelli- 
gence and formative power. 

Associated Visualization or Feeling 

"What you see is what you get" should more appropriately be 
"what you see and feel is what you get." Spirit responds not only to our 
thoughts, but also to our clear visual images with accompanying sensa- 
tion and feeling. This combination makes the greatest impression and 
has an accelerating impact on the formative action of spirit. In many 
spiritual teachings, God's creation is performed in a dream, a metaphor 
with great relevance for us. It is an apt account of the creative method 
by which the creator and, in turn, soul works with spirit to create an 
effect in the outer world. In our lives, we must form an inner picture of 
the reality we wish to bring about, hold that image, and learn to dream 
it as well. 

Duration of Focus 

In the realm of spirit, where time is an illusion, we must consider 
the concept of duration, which can be thought of as a remembered 
sequence of present moments. It is the focus of attention that is all- 
important. As we hold our attention on a thought, the extended focus 
enhances the impact on spirit. This impact is in turn a measure of the 
flow of creativity, as spirit moves to fill the mold that our thoughts, 
inner pictures, and feelings create. The flow of spirit intensifies as more 
of our focused consciousness is brought into play. We feel excitement 
generated by the impending manifestation of our vision. As we feel and 
experience other aspects of this inner vision, spirit moves in corre- 
sponding measure to supply the life force necessary for final manifesta- 

The Action Component 

Action is an important aspect of the responsiveness of spirit. In its 
purest form, the action of visualization, which includes thought, vision, 
and feeling, is sufficient to produce any effect in the outer world. How- 
ever, most people lack the faith of the mustard seed. Their thoughts are 
filled with doubt about the nature of spirit and whether it will work this 


For most people, doubt enters the process, no matter how many 
times spirit has worked in the past. The greater the doubt, the more 
action is required. Action plays two roles. First, it enables spirit to have 
a greater and faster impact on elements of the physical world, for spirit 
can be slow, at least to human minds — look at the motion of glaciers. 
Second, by strengthening the individual's belief, action has a reinforc- 
ing and reciprocating effect. As we do more things and see more things 
happen, we are inclined to believe more. This enhances, speeds, and 
supports spirit as it works for us and through us. 

The Reciprocal Nature of Spirit 

Spirit not only responds to our thoughts, feelings, and actions, but 
also acts in a reciprocal manner. The more we trust and believe in its 
role in our lives, the more it responds to us and acts like a partner. Dur- 
ing a busy day, with the demands of family and business, I sometimes 
forget my dear friend and ally. But when I remember, its presence is 
palpable, and I acknowledge it. In a world of change and imperma- 
nence, spirit is always there — steady, dependable, eternal. Spirit has 
never let me down. If you learn to trust it, it will never let you down 

Trust is the measure of our relationship with spirit. The more we 
trust it, the more it responds to us. When we ignore it, and act as if it 
does not exist or is irrelevant in our lives, then it responds accordingly. 
Our lives lose the magic enjoyed by those filled with spirit and fully 
trusting in its wondrous capacity. The responsive nature of spirit has it 
behave exactly as we believe it will. It will become whatever we 
believe it to be. 

Spirit's way is quiet and gentle, not loud and vituperative (though 
sometimes I wish it were!). We must become more silent in order to 
hear its message coming through our higher-self. That message comes 
in subtle nudges, flashes of insight, "good vibrations," waking dreams, 
and hundreds of other ways often unique to the person and her capacity 
to hear. 

Spirit and You: Getting the Roles Straight 

A goal is a finite picture, end point, or conclusion. Our job is to set 
the goal; spirit's job is to develop and guide the process. Any idea. 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 357 

vision, thought, or feeling that makes a sufficient impression on spirit 
becomes a goal or target to which its action is directed. This aspect of 
the Law of Spirit seems well applied, if not fully understood, in the 
action of our daily lives. We all know the importance of setting a goal. 
Countless books, tapes, and courses teach us how to do that. 

Indeed, we have even learned to teach our machines how to do this. 
A car's Global Positioning Satellite system (GPS) is an example of 
how machines have been taught to emulate this spiritual principle. 
While showing our location at any time, its true capability is seen when 
we program a destination — a goal of sorts. The GPS system even pro- 
vides options such as the fastest, shortest, or most scenic routes. Once 
locked in, it responds by showing and telling us each turn to take. 
When we miss a turn or stray from the route, the system recalculates 
the best route, from wherever we are. If we cancel our destination, 
ignore the directions, or change our destination, the GPS responds 
accordingly, and we continue in whatever direction we choose. 

Spirit works in a similar way in our lives to achieve the goals we 
set. Once the destination has been programmed, the driver can sit back 
and relax. The driver can rely entirely upon the workings of the system 
to direct his course to the destination. In working with spirit, our 
actions should be the same. Instead, we all too often do not hear spirit, 
ignore it, fight it, or debate it. Ultimately, we reject the direction of our 
spiritual guidance system. Just as the GPS system contains a map of the 
city and gives us the desired route, so does our spiritual system have an 
overview of all circumstances, conditions, and options. Our inner guid- 
ance is far more capable of navigating the labyrinth of life than are we 
alone. It is our failure to hear or trust the guidance of spirit working 
with our higher self that explains why we do not achieve many of our 

Spirit responds to every thought, feeling, and action. When we fail 
to cooperate with it as a partner, the fault is our own. The process of 
navigating through life is, of course, far more complex than the task of 
the GPS system. Indeed, if we were to follow a simple city map without 
a GPS system, we could probably reach our destination. But life has no 
such map, and its complexity is greater than any road trip. All the more 


reason we need to understand our spiritual partner's ways, how to listen 
to it, follow its options, and make our way. 

There is a spiritual axiom that goes, "As above, so below." This 
describes the source of all discovery, learning, and knowledge in the 
physical world. It is in this manner that we have obtained our knowl- 
edge about goal setting. We have applied this knowledge into the work- 
ing principle of our machines. We must now put it to work in our lives. 
The close connection between humans in the physical dimension and 
spirit in others is little seen or understood. Yet it is the foundation of all 
life, progress, and spiritual development. 

Impartiality of Spirit 

Our notion of a benevolent, compassionate, and loving creator sup- 
ports the idea that spirit is partial to certain types of people, ideas, or 
actions. This is where the mistaken and ethnocentric notion of a "cho- 
sen people" has arisen. The expression might make us look for a spin 
doctor in Antiquity. Spirit is impartial in responding to and manifesting 
the thoughts, words, or actions of anyone. This impartiality is an essen- 
tial part of the nature of spirit. It fulfills the requirement of the prime 
directive that necessitates the exercise of free will by all souls. The 
exercise of free will calls for soul to learn from every decision and 
action by experiencing consequences. If spirit were partial to one set of 
decisions, one group of people, or one nation rather than another, it 
would exert an influence in a particular direction. This would be incon- 
sistent with soul's need to experience all reality and to consciously 
choose a course of action leading to its expansion in consciousness. 

Spirit is neutral and will manifest any idea, thought, or feeling 
placed in it, whether positive or negative, good or bad. But human- 
kind's capacity to believe and control thought is not the same. Those 
who believe they are victims remain victims. Those who feel powerful 
and in control become and remain so. It has nothing to do with favorit- 
ism and certainly nothing to do with victimization. It only has to do 
with how the principles of spirit are understood and put into practice. 
Thus, the notion that spirit and things spiritual are about "good and 
evil" does not reflect an understanding of the impartial nature of spirit. 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 359 

Spirit and Beauty 

One day, while practicing a contemplation exercise, I had a vision 
of an amphitheater, much like the Roman Coliseum, with doors along 
the entire perimeter. There was a single word engraved on each door, 
such as "happiness," "joy," or "order " On the door I entered was writ- 
ten "beauty." As I entered the outer room, I could see into the amphi- 
theater. It was filled with light and glorious music. I sensed the energy 
and love of spirit all around. All other doors entered into the same area 
and provided access to the magnificent light and music coming from 
the center. 

I interpreted this dream to mean that each of the words on the doors 
represented states of consciousness. Once the seeker focuses on one of 
these states, she gains access to the heart of spirit itself. When she con- 
templates beauty, she is immediately confronted with the question, 
what is it? It is obviously not a single thing and cannot be defined in 
absolute terms. It varies depending on the state of consciousness of the 
person and in this regard truly is in the eyes of the beholder. But this is 
not the most important or most interesting question. Is there something 
transcendent in the nature of beauty that moves consciousness to a new 
or different level? The beauty of a flower opens our heart to the marvels 
of the creation. The beauty in the shape of a woman or the physique of 
a man evokes a somewhat different response. This also moves the 
energy of spirit within a person, but most often at a different level. Each 
of these forms of beauty evokes an internal response that taps into the 
heart of spirit at some level. Every creation carries with it a continuum 
of vibrations that represents the various ways it can be perceived. A 
particular perception vibrates at a certain level and strikes the viewer at 
that level. This accounts for differences in taste and different responses 
to the same expression of beauty. We are touching on the expression of 
spirit at different levels. But what are these levels? How can they be 
experienced? How can they be differentiated? Answers are considered 
in more depth in a later chapter. Here it is sufficient to say that spirit 
manifests its energy in different forms and at different levels, all of 
which can be evoked by a particular expression of beauty. 

The creativity of an artist, of any genre, is a common way of tap- 
ping into and experiencing spirit. The outcome will be as different and 


as varied as there are individual expressions of creativity. But the level 
of spiritual connection from which creation emerges cannot foretell the 
nature or quality of the output. In other words, the final creative expres- 
sion of beauty has nothing to do with the purity or level of the connec- 
tion with spirit that the creator taps. Two people may see the same 
sunset and feel a deep spiritual connection with the sight. One painting 
may be seen as hideous, another as magnificent. Yet, who is to say 
which artist tapped spirit at a higher or more profound level? 

Many people deny themselves the opportunity to experience a con- 
nection with spirit, because they are concerned with the quality of the 
painting, song, book, or dish they would prepare. Society has created a 
false standard that holds if we cannot perform a creative act that some- 
one else might like, then we should not bother. By bowing to this stan- 
dard, we lose the joy of creating for our own enjoyment and for the 
attendant connection with spirit. The reaction of others should not 
determine whether we use this form of expressing beauty or creativity 
or not. It is enough to do it because it makes us happy. 

Intelligence (Creativity) 

Spirit's intelligence, or creativity, allows it to know what you want 
and need before you do. As a partner in the experience of life, it is con- 
stantly directing situations and people to your path who appear at 
exactly the right time and place to meet your needs and satisfy your 
wants. This process occurs so naturally, that we usually do not recog- 
nize it. I recall a time when my company was in need of a capital infu- 
sion of several hundred thousand dollars. I had no idea where it might 
come from, because our bank was not willing to expand our line of 
credit. I contemplated the situation using all of the rational powers that 
I possessed, but to no avail. Whether it was from a dream or from an 
earlier realization, I do not recall, but I was certain that spirit would 
reveal some answer — it always did. I knew that spirit evolves solu- 
tions from conditions present in our lives. Answers are quite frequently 
right under our noses. 

My family and I had recently bought a new house with several 
adjoining lots. We had not lived there very long, and our knowledge of 
property values stemmed only from our recent purchase. One day, I 
noticed a new house going up several lots from ours and inquired about 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 361 

the asking price. I was astounded to find out that the price was almost 
twice what we had paid only two years earlier — and the new house 
was smaller. I figured it was some mistake, because the estimate came 
from a worker at the site, a good fellow but no expert in property val- 
ues. Out of curiosity, I contacted our real estate broker to ask if this was 
a mistake, and what were the current conditions in the marketplace. She 
said there was no mistake; property values had skyrocketed in the pre- 
ceding two years. In fact, our extra lots had more than quadrupled in 
value and were worth several hundred thousand dollars more than our 
original purchase price! I was humbled and astounded. The solution 
was indeed right under my nose. I had been walking on it everyday, not 
realizing that spirit had already provided the solution long before I 
knew of the problem. 

It would be easy to conclude that these developments had nothing 
to do with spirit or me. "Property values were just going up and you 
happened to be in the right place at the right time," some might argue. 
Maybe so, but I could have remained oblivious of the rising market 
conditions had I not had the inner impulse to ask the worker about the 
value of the nearby property. Then too, wouldn't it be presumptuous to 
assume that spirit would set these forces in motion to benefit me, even 
while blessing the whole? Maybe so, but when you see this situation 
present itself in your life over and over again, you realize there is a 
power working with you and for you. It blesses you, as it blesses all 
those similarly situated. Indeed, when I accepted this possibility as fact, 
I grew to expect spiritual intervention. My acceptance and expectance 
seemed to increase the frequency of similar occurrences. I could no 
longer dismiss them as mere coincidence. 

But spirit's capacity is far greater than this. Spirit may be called the 
master planner, for it devises intricate plans in the most complex situa- 
tions, which will ultimately help us accomplish our goals. Architectural 
designer, city planner, writer of constitutions, corporate merger expert, 
all these are small jobs to spirit. Responding to a dream or vision, it cre- 
ated planets, stars, the cosmos, the universes — all that we know, see, 
and cannot see. It is the workhorse of the universe, of ALL THAT IS, 
manifesting in different forms to satisfy the needs at various levels of 


Anyone who has ever been involved in a creative project can tell of 
the strange signals and impulses they have received as nudges, visions, 
dreams, or waking dreams. We are often blinded to the involvement of 
spirit by the insidious nature of ego, which constantly rears its head and 
takes credit for everything. Ego has its place, and an interesting one at 
that. For now, it is enough to become aware that we must look behind 
and beyond ego to discover the truth of spirit in our lives. Spirit never 
sleeps. It is always alert, always there, waiting to fulfill its next task. 

Spirit is Order 

Much like beauty, order is also in the eyes of the beholder. But 
whatever our perception of order, once the individual realizes it, a 
sense of harmony with spirit is achieved. As parents, my wife, Mary, 
and I deal with the continuing tragedy of disarray in our children's 
rooms. Venturing there is truly a walk on the wild side. Our children 
argue, "It looks perfectly fine." They are happy with it and are upset if 
items are organized. I could argue the practicality of our concept of 
order in that at least we could find their dirty clothes. With their sense 
of order, everything was mixed up, and often they couldn't find any- 
thing clean to wear. They still argued their concept of order was equal 
to ours, but our argument won the day. We were satisfied with this vic- 
tory, but their argument lingered with me. 

While in a park, I viewed a beautiful array of plants that landscap- 
ers had prepared for the public. As I walked to the edge of a planted 
area and into a wooded forest, I observed trees fallen at all angles and 
leaves scattered across the ground. In other words, the forest seemed 
like my children's room, and the landscaped area like my concept of 
order. As I looked further into nature's version of order, I observed that, 
in a way, everything was in perfect balance. Every fallen tree had 
stopped at a point where the downward force had been balanced by the 
upward force. Everything was in equilibrium. The same was true for 
every branch, every leaf, and every object I saw on the ground. Was 
this order? Was my vision of order superior to or simply different from 
the order that nature had created? After deeper reflection, it was quite 
clear to me that there were different forms of order. 

First, there is man-made order. This is a combination of natural 
aspects of order combined with a more rigid and structured system that 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 363 

aligns itself with the illusion of a straight line. There is something 
about straight lines, squares, circles, and other "perfect" forms, which 
gives us a sense of comfort. Perhaps it is the simplicity of the design 
that creates a feeling that we have more control over things structured 
this way. This is the conventional concept of order. It is expressed in the 
objects we create, in the manner we organize our thoughts, and in other 
forms that embody color and form. 

The second form might be called natural or spiritual order. This is 
what I observed in the forest. We see it in the order in the array of stars 
in the sky. In natural order, everything is different. Everything is 
unique. All things unfold in accordance with a higher set of laws, 
which are not always comprehended by human consciousness. 

The third type of order might be called randomness or chaos. It 
may be strange to regard this as a form of order, yet it is. It was this 
form of order that my children, in a way, referred to. The order repre- 
sented in chaos is unique to each agency creating it. In my company, I 
am often confronted with staff members who insist upon their own 
form of order. They argue that everything is in proper order, they know 
where everything is. They may be correct, but I hasten to remind them 
that others work in the company too. Everyone is required to pass the 
broken-leg test: can order be perceived and understood such that 
important items can be found if he is not at work? 

While no form of order is spiritually superior to another, the world 
would not run very efficiently if there were not common acceptance of 
certain standards of order. Every facet of our lives is organized in this 
way. From highway and building design to language and information, 
there is a standard of order that defines society's accepted approach. 
When we align our consciousness with these standards, they form a 
definition of order within our own universe. When our actions and 
environment are aligned with this definition, we feel harmony and bal- 
ance. This in turn establishes a link with spirit, which then flows more 
freely into our consciousness. 

We experience this when we clean our car, keep it shiny and in 
good repair. The same alignment with spirit occurs when we straighten 
our desk or room. All of these situations align us with our internal sense 
of order, and that links us with spirit. Again, order can be found in man- 


made, natural, or random forms. Spirit will flow into and help manifest 
any form of order with which our consciousness has aligned. It will 
manifest all forms that in turn reflect what the individual perceives as 
inner and outer harmony. 

As a seeker, I practiced an exercise that greatly assisted me in mov- 
ing from one internal sense of order to another. When I started in busi- 
ness, the demands required me to align with the standards of order in 
that world — not the standard with which I was then aligned. Twice a 
day, I opened a box of toothpicks and threw them on the table. Slowly 
and methodically, I placed each toothpick back into the box. The visual 
image of moving from random order to structured order became 
impressed upon my mind. 

As a result, my personal space was more conventionally neat and 
orderly, my desk was better organized, my logical processes were 
crisper, and other aspects of my life also reflected this order. As I 
embraced and felt attuned to it, I was careful not to fail to appreciate 
other forms of order. By shifting to other forms of order we tap cre- 
ative, spontaneous, and innovative thinking, which random and chaotic 
patterns of order are capable of producing. In the end, it all comes 
down to choice. All aspects of universal order are available to us, and 
they all have validity — but our kids still had to clean up their rooms! 

The Illusion of the Straight Line (The Law of Cycles) 

Though all of our experiences are to the contrary, we often envision 
moving toward a goal without setbacks, delays, or disruptions. In fact, 
most people are busy trying to avoid responsibility for their setbacks, 
delays, mistakes, and difficulties. Many have become risk-averse. Set- 
backs are seen as failure or evidence of inability to control the forces in 
our life — a common mistake. While minimizing disruptions and set- 
backs certainly reflects an understanding of universal principles, their 
occurrence is part of the natural order. Yet the ideal of the straight line 

No significant achievement occurs without problems. The straight 
line is a creation of man. In nature, everything flows as an aspect of 
wave motion. This pattern can be seen in the simple shapes of objects 
in nature: from trees, clouds, and waves, to the most complex observa- 
tions of astronomy. Translated into our lives, this means that nothing 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 365 

can move from goal to accomplishment without ups and downs. Fur- 
thermore, our ability to predict the precise movement of these ebbs and 
flows is at best minimal. All that we can say is that persistence in the 
movement toward the accomplishment of an objective, with adjust- 
ments made for events as they present themselves, leads inexorably to 
their realization. 

The Source of Our Doubt and How to Trust Spirit 

Maybe the doubt is not about spirit at all. Perhaps it is about 
whether we can count on ourselves to do our part. After all, we have 
blown it in the past. The old aphorism jingles in our ear: "Spirit cannot 
do for us what it can only do through us," and we are reminded of the 
importance of self-responsibility. Spirit needs us as a channel and as a 
distributing agent to bring into existence the things we are seeking. But 
can we trust spirit enough to get beyond these questions? Can we move 
from fear and doubt to faith, belief, knowingness, and certainty? In 
time, we will. It is a long journey on a hard road, but we can do it. This 
is the real key to life's journey. It is about the interaction of God-soul 
and spirit. Each of us, whether we realize it or not, is seeking to solve 
the great paradox. First, we must go through many tests, ask many 
questions, and find some answers. As the process unfolds, our confi- 
dence and willingness to trust spirit expands. It's much like our first 
contact with romance. At first, there is some reluctance — we don't 
want to get hurt. But in time, we let down our guard and open up to that 
person. This is the relationship we must have with spirit. It will be 
rocky at first, especially if we have always taken pride in being strong 
and self-reliant. Why should I trust this force that I cannot see? How do 
I know it even exists? 

These questions have been the source of religious and philosophi- 
cal speculation for centuries. I first encountered it in a college humani- 
ties class. We were discussing the rather heady topic of the 
"Teleological Suspension of the Ethical." The Danish religious philos- 
opher, Soren Kierkegaard (1813-1855), put forth this idea in his semi- 
nal work Fear and Trembling (1846), in which he explores the 
suspension of moral law for the sake of a higher law. He raises this 
dilemma in the context of God commanding Abraham to kill his son. 
Abraham's devotion to God compels him to obey. Yet, to do so would 


be murder, a violation of the law and morals of his time. To commit this 
act, he would have to suspend his ethical standards for a higher belief. 

As we encounter the power of spirit in our lives, we are continu- 
ously called upon to suspend our belief in our own capabilities and 
logic and surrender to a force we cannot see or directly know. We are 
faced with a similar dilemma, though probably one not as agonizing as 
Abraham's. Yet as we proceed in our relationship with spirit, we too are 
placed in situations that call for increasing levels of trust and belief. 
Sometimes our tests call for the suspension of societal principles for the 
sake of higher principles. In time, as we go through good and bad, we 
come to trust it more. We come to know its ways a little better. As we 
trust it, it comes to trusts us. The message of spirit and the way of sur- 
render is, Don 't ask me how I am going to solve this problem for you, or 
what the exact result will be before it manifests, trust me, and Tell me 
what you want and believe. But this is not easy, especially if we take 
pride in asking tough questions and being analytical. We have been to 
elementary school, high school, university, and beyond, read hundreds 
of books, and kept abreast of current events. Are we to put aside these 

The answer is. Yes! If we wish to know this universal force, we 
must learn how and when to turn off our analytic capability. Herein lies 
the key. The mind will never get us there. But how do we break down 
the hardness, the mental questioning, and the analytical tendencies of 
the critical faculty within the mind? How do we push it aside and allow 
ourselves to feel the flow of spirit? We have all felt it for short periods. 
We have all had glimpses of the promised land. We have all felt, if only 
for a moment, what trust in spirit means. But what is it like to really 
surrender to spirit and experience this for hours at a time, living in a 
state of joy, with no worries, no concern, all of the problems we drag 
around cut loose? The answer lies in just letting go and focusing our 
attention on trust and surrender. 

That is why any religion steeped in an intellectual tradition can 
only take us so far. At the gate of heaven, the most learned person 
weeps at its doors, not understanding the coin that guarantees entry. 
The Catholic Church is a prime example of this. No religion has con- 
tributed more to the thinking of humankind about spiritual life. Treatise 

The Spiritual and Scientific Foundations of Higher Consciousness 367 

after treatise has been written about the most refined spiritual points. 
Such pursuits are useful at the beginning to quench our thirst for the 
divine. But after a point, it can take us no further. 

How do we get to the point of trusting spirit so explicitly that we 
seek its guidance every moment of every day? This is where the great 
and profound "leap of faith" that leads to trust and surrender, comes 
into play. As we shall see, reaching this state involves controlling our 
thoughts, which, in turn, control our states of consciousness. In the end, 
trust and surrender are reached in the same manner by which we con- 
trol all thoughts. The more we live in a state of trust and surrender, the 
more our problems solve themselves. Surprisingly, our intellectual and 
analytical capabilities actually expand by virtue of the partnership with 
spirit that develops. Indeed, the God-seeker develops an intimate part- 
nership with spirit. He develops an absolute knowingness that it will 
provide for his every need. He comes to realize that this omnipresent 
force protects him, leads him in the correct path, meets his every need, 
and enlightens him through all of his experiences. 

However, when we place our feet on the path to God, we know that 
we are going to be in for a struggle, because we have initiated a process 
of continuous change, which we generally fear and fight. The degree to 
which we struggle depends entirely on the degree to which we surren- 
der and accept change. How many times must we butt our heads before 
a lesson is learned? If we don't like pain, then it's wise to accept change 
quickly and gracefully, with no judgment as to its nature, good or bad. 
For change is neither. It depends entirely on what we do with circum- 
stances placed before us. If our attitude is to turn events to our advan- 
tage, then life can never defeat us. We will always listen to that still 
quiet voice inside pushing us ever forward toward our inevitable ren- 
dezvous with God. 

Chapter 14 — The Spiritual Practice of 
Higher Consciousness 

Towards a New Spiritual Paradigm 

A paradigm is a model, a pattern, or an archetypal ideal of some- 
thing in form, experience, or concept. In a spiritual context, it is a pat- 
tern of beliefs, images, and practices that form inner and outer 
thoughts, words, and actions. Almost by definition, a religious para- 
digm is limited, for it sets forth a standardized depiction of inner and 
outer experiences that conform to the framers' beliefs and accepted 

But there are no absolutes within the unbounded scope of ALL 
THAT IS. Instead, there is infinite choice, for we are creative beings 
without limits. We are free to choose our beliefs, our paradigms. In 
turn, beliefs form our inner and outer spiritual constructs. That is why 
myths are so important to humankind. C. G. Jung and C. Kerenyi in 
Essays on a Science of Mythology^ as well as Joseph Campbell in The 
Power ofMyth^ demonstrate the importance of myth in civilizations. 
Similarly, the ubiquitous nature of some myths (e.g., the flood, the 
child-god, the savior) suggests something transcendent at work. But 
what is conspicuously absent in these studies is the role myths play in 
structuring spiritual paradigms, which form the context for all inner 
experiences. Thus, life experiences, stories, beliefs, and myths are the 
substance from which dreams and inner experiences are made. As the 
mythology of a person differs, so do his inner experiences. 

Graham's journal is a classic example of how myths shape inner 
experiences, even experiences of an astonishing variety. Paul Twitchell 
created his myths of the Eck Masters, temples, and inner experiences in 
1965. Yet they became the inner and often the outer reality of trusting 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 369 

Eckists. They visited temples and met masters of Paul's mythology. 
How can this be? Similarly, those believing in angels have inner expe- 
riences with angels. Children who believe in Santa Claus report dreams 
and inner experiences with the jolly one. 

An interesting dialogue between Campbell and interviewer Bill 
Moyers touches on this: 

Moyers: How does one have a profound [inner] experience? 

Campbell: By having a profound sense of the mystery. 

Moyers: But if God is the god we have only imagined, how can we 
stand in awe of our own creation? 

Campbell: How can we be terrified of a dream? You have to break past 
your image of God to get through to the connoted illumination. The psy- 
chologist Jung has a relevant saying: "Religion is a defense against the 
experience of God. "^ 

What Campbell is saying is that inner scenery and images of Jesus, the 
Buddha, Muhammad, the Living Eck Master, among others often block 
experiencing what is transcendent in the experience. Indeed, the scen- 
ery only provides a context in which spiritual awareness can be 
expanded. Thus, religion might more aptly be considered a barrier to 
experiencing God. Campbell continues his response: 

The mystery has been reduced to a set of concepts and ideas, and 
emphasizing these concepts and ideas can short-circuit the transcendent, 
connoted experience. An intense experience of mystery is what one has 
to regard as the ultimate religious experience.^ 

Campbell's perspective on the ultimate religious experience may 
be an accurate description of the nature of inner experience for those 
filled with the doctrines of heaven, hell, and god, in western paradigms. 
However, it is not an accurate description of the experience of the light 
and sound of God or the planes beyond form. Through Moyers's prob- 
ing, Campbell goes on to articulate this point: 

Moyers: There are many Christians who believe that, to find out who 
Jesus is, you have to go past the Christian faith, past Christian doctrine, 
past the Christian Church. 

Campbell: You have to go past the imagined image of Jesus. Such an 
image of one's god becomes a final obstruction, one's ultimate barrier. 
You hold on to your own ideology, your own little manner of thinking, 
and when a larger experience of God approaches, an experience greater 


than you are prepared to receive, you take flight from it by clinging to 
the image in your mind. This is known as preserving your faith. ^ 

Campbell is right of course. And herein lies the limitation of 
mythology and religious doctrine in reaching transcendence. All reli- 
gions have planted images and stories about the nature of the transcen- 
dent experience, or the master, or the savior, which block spiritual 
growth and experience. But Moyers does not probe far enough. Even as 
he implies the need for escape from the limitations of Christian doc- 
trine, he holds on to Jesus as the end point in the search for God. He 
seems unprepared or unwilling to seize on Campbell's broader point 
and to let go of his paradigm. 

Letting go is a frightening prospect. But how can a true God-seeker 
be limited by an image, concept, or paradigm? How can any comfort- 
able teaching or paradigm encompass the limitless scope of ALL 
THAT IS? Truth as well as trust in spirit and in our higher self form the 
only path to the ONE. Our responsibility is to create the goal; a spiritual 
paradigm that is compatible with the universal nature of soul and spirit. 
We see this principle of goal-setting at work in our lives everyday. 
Indeed, it is the basis of the modern practice of project planning. While 
we are able to anticipate the steps involved in a particular manifestation 
on the physical plane, all planners and managers know that changes 
occur that cannot be anticipated. We adjust to the changes and move 
on, reaching our goal nonetheless. In many ways, this book is such a 
planning document for achieving our highest spiritual goal. It is 
detailed only as far as can now be described. But the process, always in 
the control of spirit, will lead us to our ultimate spiritual goal because 
that is the nature of spirit and the process. We will explore this principle 
in considerable detail in Chapter 16. There, we shall look at the practi- 
cal workings of spirit and how we can employ it to fulfill our dreams 
and goals in life. 

So, what is the process? It is that we set the forces of spirit in 
motion by what we think and believe. When we hold an image or feel- 
ing in our minds, spirit, in concert with God-soul, leads us unerringly to 
this goal. It will reach its object, no matter the deviations along the way. 
Thus, we move in the direction of our beliefs, which form the substance 
of our spiritual paradigm. Once locked in, spirit working with God-soul 
leads us to know the ONE. It matters little that we do not have full com- 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 371 

prehension of what the ONE is. It is sufficient that we know, sense, 
intuit, and believe in the ONE. This alone will lead us there. 

A remarkable aspect of spiritual unfolding is that even though our 
higher-selves must use stories and myths to expand awareness, they 
will turn them into lessons for our liberation. We see this in Graham's 
journal. Even as he had experience after experience within the Eckan- 
kar paradigm, the fiction that underlay it was finally exposed and 
served as the pathway for his liberation. 

Considering the thousand-year tradition of many religions, one is 
justified in asking: How can something so new as Higher Conscious- 
ness guide us to God-Realization? Having studied and participated in 
numerous paths and under many teachers, I have learned there are hun- 
dreds of different ways claiming to take us to this goal. Each path 
insists theirs is the one true way. I have observed two basic points in 
this search. First, thousands of years have elapsed since the founders of 
most religions (or those in whose names they were formed) had the 
defining God experiences on which those religions were based. Since 
that time, the transcendent truths that they tried to convey have been 
buried under mountains of ritual, debate, bureaucracy, hierarchy, and 
practices. The message that all enlightened beings come to this plane to 
convey is that each person is a spark of God. But in every religion, this 
message has been lost. To free an adherent from the clutter of this ritual 
and dogma could take lifetimes without much progress. 

Second, in teachings like Hindu Yoga, Buddhism, and Sufism, the 
God-seeker is faced with an entirely new language and vocabulary, not 
to mention thousands of gods and innumerable inner planes with names 
unfamiliar to most. One is apt to conclude that the language of God is 
Sanskrit, and that if we don't use it to express spiritual concepts, we 
can't connect with the highest truth. Nothing could be further from the 
truth. The language of God is whatever you understand and with which 
you can communicate. The outer formality of language means nothing 
so long as inner sincerity, love, and a burning desire to follow truth and 
to know the God reality, is upper most in your thoughts and actions. 

So, while a seeker can respect and learn from millennia of spiritual 
history, God is here and now. We need not search through dusty 
archives and study ancient rituals for the secrets to inner travel. God is 


not hiding from us. It is we who have covered our eyes from the light of 
God. No union of masters, pope, mahanta, or anyone else controls the 
experience of God. That is the stuff of control, egomania, and usurpa- 
tion. This knowledge is not to be bargained or bartered for loyalty or 
coin. It is the gift of those who have traveled the road to God-Realiza- 
tion and returned to share their insights. There is much to learn and 
know about this mystery. One does need a teacher and the right infor- 
mation. But more than this is vanity, for who can place themselves 
above another without blaspheming? 

This book presents the truth as I have come to understand it. There 
is no hidden agenda. The insights shared here can aid in brushing away 
the rubbish of ritual, doctrine, and dogma, a process which will allow 
the God-seeker to move on to the truth within. Once we experience the 
sublime realities of the inner Oneness of God and the unfathomable 
love there, we see the true path that lies within. Still, there is much to be 
learned. Hopefully, this book will help you on your journey to truth and 
enable you to tap the infinite knowledge within you. The teachers who 
carry this message, as part of the Great Work, will provide instruction 
and guidance. But they are not masters. Their role is to guide and teach, 
making way for the student to become the teacher. 

The insights of the Higher Consciousness Movement, which 
embody the Great Work, draw from ancient traditions. Yet they cut 
through language, ritual, and excess baggage, leaving what is neces- 
sary for the inner experiences leading to God-Realization. I have expe- 
rienced the sublime realities of light and sound and more in many 
levels of the inner worlds. Graham and many others with whom I have 
worked have also had these experiences. This was achieved through 
study, devotion, and the guidance of the higher self, using images cher- 
ished by that person. 

Finally, we don't have to go to India, Tibet, or Minnesota to learn 
about God. It is a gift we already have; we simply have to open up and 
prepare ourselves for the transcendent experience of ITS reality. Let's 
look at the methods and principles by which we can open our gift and 
experience the inner realities of ALL THAT IS. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 373 

Soul Unbounded 

The limitless nature of dreams and inner experiences is part of the 
limitless freedom bequeathed to every soul. Why is there such free- 
dom? It is because soul learns, through proper discrimination, to make 
decisions that lead to expanded awareness and recognition of itself as 
God-soul. By making choices and experiencing their consequences, 
soul expands to an awareness of and partnership with ALL THAT IS. 

As humans, we search for the purpose of life. We have traveled 
everywhere and experienced everything to learn who or what we are. In 
moments of reflection, we realize we have traveled nowhere and expe- 
rienced only the offshoots of our minds and dreams. As souls, we are 
the builders of the heavens, the hells, the planes, and the inner worlds. 
They are constructs, just as the world around us is a construct of imagi- 
nation, thought, knowingness, effort, and perseverance. As expounded 
earlier, the purpose of this is to teach soul its divinity and prepare it for 
the Great Work of spiritual liberation. The potential for reaching the 
goal of the God-seeker is omnipresent and ubiquitous. The goal we 
desire to reach is within us, here and now, yet it can be as far away as 
the peak of the highest mountain. 

To grasp the here and now and understand how soul lives in it, we 
are placed within an earthly framework in which eternity is divided into 
segments, which we know as time. We see time as linear, but it is not. 
The illusion is fostered by events. Einstein and his contemporaries 
were close to expressing this spiritual principle in the language of sci- 
ence. Einstein had postulated gravity as equivalent to acceleration and 
as a geometrical phenomenon. Indeed, he saw gravity as a bending of 
time and space. David Bohm embraced this idea in his exploration of 
the holographic paradigm. The idea of linear time is created by a con- 
struct that separates "now" into segments that evidence "now's" pas- 
sage. The sun rises every morning, and we call it another day. But what 
has changed except an event that divides duration and repeats itself? 
Even the aging of our physical bodies marked by a birthday and change 
of appearance is nothing more than a series of events that create the 
illusion of time. But at the transition called death, our true self emerges 
from the physical shell essentially the same as when we entered it, only 
wiser and more aware. 


The circular movement of the hands of a clock is more than a meta- 
phor for time. It is a symbol of eternity, for it moves endlessly in a cir- 
cle, giving the illusion of the passage of time. But it has gone nowhere. 
The clock's hands have simply repeated a cycle. Understanding this 
provides another clue to the transcendence of now, for all that really 
changes is our awareness, our consciousness. 

A final analogy might be helpful. The life of soul in eternity is like 
seeing a movie. The scenery, characters, and story change, but we 
remain the same. A projection of ourselves is involved in the drama of 
physical life, as in a movie, except in this production we are the charac- 
ter. In the drama of physical life, a part of us actually feels the blows 
and experiences the pain. Yet from the perspective of the observer, the 
coach, the guardian angel sitting in the chair, we have only changed our 
perspective, our perception of events, and have really moved nowhere. 
After countless movies, scene changes, and role switches, we are still 
sitting in the theater — soul living in the eternity of now. Through the 
experiences unfolding on the screen of life, we have definitely 
changed. We are more aware of our stillness and the illusory nature of 
the world swirling around us. The Biblical passage, "Be still and know 
that I am God" (Psalms 46: 10) speaks of this stillness. In time, we grow 
tired of the illusion, for it is no longer needed. We are eager to live from 
our true nature as soul — pure conscious energy. We are now able to 
assist in the Great Work that is performed at higher levels of reality/ 
illusion, ever aiding souls in their unfolding to truth. 

Most religions and spiritual paradigms leave us with a story line 
that, like the Santa Glaus myth, we eventually outgrow. When this hap- 
pens, we often have feelings of betrayal and deception. This is because, 
like the illusion, we must believe and become engrossed in it for it to 
have maximum effect on our spiritual growth. Actually, this is an 
important psychological point for the God-seeker. For, as discussed, if 
she thought she had found something second best, how would she 
believe, how would she learn from the experience? 

But we are always searching for a higher truth, something closer to 
the ultimate, something we will never have to abandon. We will never 
find it of course — the final step, that is. For there is always a "plus ele- 
ment" in spiritual expansion, something more to learn and experience. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 375 

But we can come closer. We can discover penultimate truth and it will 
serve us for the remainder of this lifetime and into eternity, for the 
Great Work does not end. This is the objective of the Higher Con- 
sciousness Movement. It will never have the final answer, but it will 
not create deceptions, fictions, myths, or personal deities. It will 
expand as consciousness expands, never lapsing into a fixed paradigm. 
But for now, the working paradigm that comes closest to the truth of all 
truths, which can be encompassed with the limited tool of mind is: 

I AM, 



Our journey to the heart of truth is the growth to full awareness of this 
tenet that underlies the journey to higher consciousness. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 

The practice of higher consciousness embodies the highest ideals 
of our spiritual reality. It is not unlike the practices God-seekers have 
followed throughout history. Spiritual practices must be integrated into 
our lives to provide the guidance and support we need to deal with 
daily life and still lead us to the realization of ourselves as God-soul. 
Before laying out the spiritual practice of higher consciousness, per- 
haps it is important to define the spiritual goals so that we have a better 
idea of where we are going. 


In the preceding chapter, we described the properties of soul and 
the concept of God-soul. This is the aspect of ourselves with which we 
are least familiar. Most people identify with impulses, feelings, and 
energies emanating from their physical bodies. Within the human con- 
sciousness, there is little distinction between the ego (the "i") and God- 
soul (the "I"), which is the greater part of ourselves. This higher self 
directs our lives in ways, but we are quick to give credit to things other 
than our higher selves. This is our great mistake, for we relegate our 
self-conception to a position only slightly higher than the animal that 
our bodies represent. We even claim that our bodies have a soul, rather 
than that we as soul use a body in this dimension of reality. The differ- 


ence is tremendous. It is the first step to understanding who we are as 
God-soul, but this is only intellectual recognition. The next step is to 
live from this state of consciousness. 

Those great souls who walked the earth and came to this realization 
lived from this state of consciousness. They were able to say, "I am one 
with the creator." As soul, they recognized their oneness with ALL 
THAT IS and reflected this awareness in what they said and did. But 
civilization, from the most primitive to the most modern, could not 
comprehend their state of consciousness. They were declared gods, and 
religions were established in their names. This is how every religion 
and spiritual path has been created, and, for this very reason, each has 
missed the point. For the life of every great soul is a reflection of what 
we are destined to become. There is no other message, for this is the 
essence of the Great Work. If it were otherwise, they too would have 
missed the point and not reflected the high state of consciousness with 
which they were credited. 

The capabilities of God-soul exhibited through the physical body, 
are remarkable indeed. Some have called them psychic powers mani- 
fested through the use of etheric energy or Sedi powers. Others simply 
regard them as the stuff of miracles. But these "powers" are merely 
reflections of the capabilities of God-soul manifested on the physical 
plane. Everyone has these abilities, but like any skill, they require rec- 
ognition, belief, interest, and practice before they manifest in our life. 
Science is still trying to establish the reality of these powers with the 
limited instruments of the physical world. But progress is being made 
by pioneers who are asking tough questions and attempting to find sci- 
entifically-based answer s.s 

However, the source of these capabilities lies in regions undetect- 
able by any known instrument. It is like measuring the amount of light 
or sound in a dream. These inner abilities include telepathy, remote 
viewing, psychokinesis, levitation, healing, bilocation, intuition, read- 
ing past and future events, and countless others we have already 
touched upon. They may frighten us or leave us with heightened skepti- 
cism, but they should be explored for this is the real "new frontier." It is 
key to answering the ageless imperative, "know thyself." 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 377 

Many pretenders have claimed such powers and charmed thou- 
sands of unwary believers. Because of this legacy, many are skeptical 
of the existence of these capabilities. While skepticism is healthy, it is a 
barrier to manifesting these qualities in our own lives. Everything starts 
and ends with belief. Thought coupled with belief gives us the power to 
move mountains. The over development of the critical faculty in the 
West is the main reason that the East is ahead of it in spiritual under- 
standing. Yet the East's strength has also resulted in a host of fraudulent 
masters exploiting the gullible. With the underdevelopment of the criti- 
cal faculty, most cannot distinguish between a faker and a fakir. 

While in many ways East has met West, the need for greater spiri- 
tual interaction between the two is important. The same is true of 
Africa and the West. Because spirituality is intrinsic to their belief sys- 
tems, Africans are more open to understanding inner worlds and inner 
spiritual experiences. They also exhibit an extraordinary capacity for 
love, as most western visitors attest. But that is a story for another time. 

As we understand more about our spiritual nature, we learn that it is 
always directing, protecting, providing for, and teaching us. We have to 
surrender to it and believe in it completely in order to experience life as 
it is intended. When we do this, we lose the fear that accompanies a 
focus on the "i." We live from the perspective of God- soul, which is 
who and what we really are. 


We have seen how scientific discovery and spirituality are finally 
coming together. Indeed, they are the same search, only from different 
perspectives. The scientist asks "how?" and develops theories to 
unravel and control the mystery. The God-seeker asks "why?" and 
seeks to know the reason behind the mystery — a question that leads to 
knowledge of the ONE. The why is to teach us that we are IT of itself. 
The "how" takes us through endless combinations and permutations of 
a creative idea. This is the by-product of learning how a mechanism 
works and learning to control it. What we call reality and measure, 
probe, and discover is a complex creation of our making. Its purpose is 
to teach us about our creative capabilities so that we can know what we 
are and, in time, take our place in the Great Work. Until then, we wan- 


der in complexity, complimenting ourselves on our inventions and dis- 

Of course, we must go to work, raise our children, fight our wars, 
and continue our search for that elusive something that brings us inner 
joy, peace, and happiness. As we live our lives, practicing the spiritual 
principles of higher consciousness, we can know that we have correctly 
set our course and that this time it will survive the test of truth. 

The Higher Consciousness Contemplations of Life 

Many years ago, while an active member of Eckankar, I developed 
a contemplation that embodied the essence of the teaching. It was 
widely reprinted and used as a daily confirmation of key beliefs by 
Eckists around the world. It filled a critical need to provide a summary 
of core beliefs. Not unlike a prayer or inspirational verse, the contem- 
plation recalled an aspect of the particular spiritual paradigm whenever 
needed. The demands of life require constant recall and recitation of 
core beliefs to keep us on track. 

Since that time, my understanding of the universal laws has 
enlarged to embrace a higher level of awareness. I have rewritten this 
contemplation in two forms, each containing the essence of the spiri- 
tual paradigm of higher consciousness. It is meant to guide the God- 
seeker in their outer and inner life to achieve fulfillment in both. The 
longer version is more poetic for those who can more easily put this 
format to memory. The shorter version covers most of the same con- 
cepts and may be preferred by others. 

There are also two affirmations that can be recited before contem- 
plation or used at any time. The first speaks to the preeminent truth 
taught in Higher Consciousness. It is the center of our reality. However, 
it is difficult for human consciousness to comprehend this simplicity 
and function from its center. It is the nature of human existence that we 
must go everywhere and experience everything before returning to this 
reality. By centering our attention here, we are guided on a direct path 
to ALL THAT IS by the inexorable action of spirit. The second affirma- 
tion confirms the same reality but speaks also of the nature of our union 
with the ONE. It too is a reminder of our central truth. When attention 
is similarly centered here, it clears away distractions and illusions, 
bringing us back to the heart of our being. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 379 

Whichever version of the contemplation or affirmation you choose, 
it is important to put them to memory or at least carry them with you. In 
this manner, the power behind the words and concepts is available at all 
times to inspire, direct, and restructure your inner and outer spiritual 


I am one with ALL THAT IS. 

I surrender to my higher self, 

God-soul that is me. 

In the eternity of now, 

I rise above time and space 

Into infinite spirit. 

In this creative center 

Of pure consciousness. 

Where all things exist, 

I accept into my life 

That which I choose 

For my wellbeing and spiritual unfoldment. 

I think neither good nor bad 

Of events in my life. 

For they are without form. 

Neither good nor bad. 

Either good or bad. 

My choice 
Makes it my own. 


Outcomes flow from 

What I think, and 
What I deem is true. 

For how I act, 

And what I accept. 

Steers the course 

That will ensue. 

I focus on my higher self, 

God-soul that is free. 

A spark of GOD, part of the whole 

That watches over me. 

It meets my needs. 

And steers my course. 

On my journey home, to THEE. 

I center 

On my love for GOD, 

And GOD's boundless love for me, 

A love that provides, protects 

And guides my way. 

To know the ONE 

In me. 


All there is. 

And I as part of THEE, 

Claim freedom 

Joy, success 

As mine, 

GOD's endless gift to me. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 381 


I am one with ALL THAT IS. 

I surrender to my higher self 

God-soul that is me. 

In the eternity of now, 

I rise above all problems, tensions. 

And burdens of this day. 

Into pure consciousness, into Spirit. 

I keep my thoughts ever on my goals 

Of Soul-actualization and God-Realization 

For I know that Spirit is ever working 

Towards their fulfillment. 

I think neither good nor bad 

Of events in my life. 

I know that they are neutral 

And become what I make of them. 

I do my part, relax and trust in Spirit. 

I surrender to its loving care and 

Its perfect plan of unfoldment. 

I know that this day, I must live a life of love 

A life dedicated to ALL THAT IS. 

I accept this perfect day in my life. 

As wonders follow wonders. 
And the gifts of spirit never cease. 












The spiritual and philosophical foundation for these contempla- 
tions and affirmations has already been presented, but a brief discus- 
sion on the spiritual power behind them is in order. When I was a boy, 
attending church with my grandfather, I was always struck by how the 
congregation recited prayers together and issued rejoinders to various 
incantations. There was a great deal of pride attached to knowing what 
to say on cue, but it struck me as robotic. The practice is largely inef- 
fectual because it does not focus attention, a requirement for unlocking 
the power inherent in the words. As we will see, such a focus coupled 
with emotion is necessary to tap the power of words. 

The spoken or written word is only a symbol of the energy, power, 
and state of consciousness that lie behind it. It is a key that opens our 
inner awareness to a vast panorama of thoughts, feelings, and spiritual 
force. While we know the power of a harsh or kind word, we often 
gloss over the power of language in ordinary conversation. This power 
can be used, knowingly, to affect our state of consciousness at any time. 

We tap this power most effectively with focused repetition of 
sacred words, a practice long known in most religions. The rosary, for 
example, is a religious exercise in which prayers are recited and 
counted on a string of beads or a knotted cord. Similar practices are 
found in other Christian faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. A 
similar practice is thQJapa, a Yoga practice involving the repetition of a 
mantra, verse, or name of a spiritual being. All of these practices are 
based on the idea that words, even letters of words, are energy, and 
their use — in thought or words — releases power that can be experi- 
enced. Every word is therefore connected with a thought form, a state 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 383 

of consciousness composed of feelings that have a primordial connec- 
tion to our being. We often use them carelessly and, even more so, 
allow words, images, and thought forms to pass through our conscious- 
ness, oblivious of their impact. This is where the proactive control of 
images, words, and thoughts play an important role in the life of a God- 

Just as the rosary reinforces an inner spiritual paradigm, other prac- 
tices can replace a spiritual paradigm. The Contemplations of Life can 
do this. When compared to any spiritual teaching that employs repeti- 
tion, these contemplations are quite different. Rather than focusing on a 
master, gum, or savior, which, intended or not, relegates the individual 
to an inferior position, it emphasizes our connection as soul with the 
infinite, with ALL THAT IS. This enables the individual to accept the 
power, freedom, and responsibility that accompanies spiritual growth. 
The journey to the heart of truth is not a group tour. Each person is his 
own path to GOD. 

Read this section and use the contemplations and affirmation fre- 
quently. The affirmations and techniques presented have been carefully 
refined over more than thirty years of study. They reflect the practices 
of spiritual pioneers whose wisdom echoes from centuries removed. 
They are the insights of a God-seeker who has lived them and can 
affirm that they work, but you must make them work. The magic is 
always in consciousness, not simply in the words. As we have seen, 
words as sound carry vibrations that affect our consciousness and bod- 
ies at all levels. But the effect of a word or vibration alone is minor 
compared to its power when combined with consciousness. Thus, 
words and their vibrations carry energy, but we trigger, direct, and 
enhance their effect by the focused attention of soul. 

Using the Affirmations and Contemplations 

Throughout the day, I practice reciting the whole or parts of these 
contemplations as a means of controlling my thought flow. The affir- 
mations are also repeated continuously instead of idle and undisci- 
plined thoughts that can create havoc in my life. As we will see further 
in the next chapters, we create our inner and outer reality by our 
thoughts and beliefs every moment of our lives. We can take control of 
our thought patterns and create what we want, rather than accept what 


we are stuck with by our failure to exercise mental discipline. The prin- 
ciple of proactive thought selection coupled with focus is the key to 
unlocking the power. 

When I started this practice, before I put them to memory, I found it 
helpful to copy or print the contemplations on a card and use them 
throughout the day — I still do. For example, I am able to counteract 
negative and destructive thoughts and feelings by inwardly reciting 
these lines: 

I center on my love for GOD, And GOD's boundless love for me. 

This always fills me with inner joy, and my loneliness immediately dis- 
appears. When worried about some problem, I often focus on: 

/ think neither good nor bad of events as they unfold in my life.... I do 
my part, relax, and trust in spirit. I surrender to Its loving care and 
perfect plan of unfoldment. 

When I recite these lines a few times, slowly focusing on each idea and 
the feelings they evoke, my state of consciousness is transformed from 
worry to confidence. I am reconnected with my higher self and spirit. 
Consequently, it affects how goals and desires out-picture in my life. 
As you work with these contemplations and unlock the energy that they 
evoke, you will discover their power. This routine will keep you on 
track, living moment by moment with the joy of a spiritual being capa- 
ble of positive experiences, no matter the situation. 

You might tire of a particular line or word, so change as frequently 
as you need to, and select just the word or passage appropriate for the 
moment. A quick read-through of the entire short or long form contem- 
plation will undoubtedly lead you to settle on the perfect idea or word 
for that moment. 

Practice this often. Use the affirmations as a declaration before 
meals, before driving, or at anytime you feel disconnected from the 
source of your being. This is not hard to spot. If you are unhappy, you 
are disconnected. If you are worried, you are disconnected. But if you 
feel love and trust in spirit and your higher self, then you are connected. 
You are living as you were intended to live: as a spiritual being occupy- 
ing a physical body. It requires discipline and a willingness to make this 
practice part of your life. I know this will make a major difference in 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 385 

your outer and inner existence. It has transformed my life and that of 
many others with whom I have shared these insights. 

In the end, we cannot escape responsibility for our lives. We are 
creators whether we like it or not, whether we believe it or not. Igno- 
rance and failure to consciously practice discipline of thought, word, 
and action provides no escape from their consequences. Because we 
are responsible, we might as well choose what we want. So try it, you 
will only gain happiness and success — quite a payoff for something 
that only requires a little effort and discipline! 

Establishing Inner Communication — How I met Me 

More than twenty years ago, I became aware of an inner something 
that was part of me, if not entirely me. I marveled at how it reminded 
me each morning of things I had forgotten. This inner guidance was 
with me long before I came to Eckankar, even though Eckankar tried to 
persuade me that its Mahanta was doing all this for me. This never sat 
well. Every religion that teaches followers to credit a savior or master 
usurps the power of God-soul. My grandfather, the Episcopal priest, 
always encouraged me to give thanks to the Jesus. Somehow, I was 
always left holding the bag when it came to the bad stuff. This never sat 
well either. 

When I came to Eckankar, I had a problem with the master concept. 
It didn't feel right. I put aside the conflict by focusing on the power of 
spirit. After witnessing one of Eckankar's tumultuous successions, I 
felt vindicated. And with the results of my research for this book, it was 
clear that my higher self had protected me from the grave mistake of 
looking to another person as the symbol of the God-principle in my 
life. Besides, the inner direction I had received, long before coming to 
Eckankar, was the same "still small voice." It had not changed. 

I realized I should establish inner communication with this some- 
thing, rather than place my trust in a person or image whatever his title 
or appearance. I had to distinguish between my outer-self and this inner 
something. I needed a symbol, an identity, for this part of me. My 
earthly name was too closely identified with my outer life and person- 
ality. It evoked no identification with my higher self, which remained a 
stranger without a name. 


Selecting a new name was like new parents naming a newborn. 
Unlike the parents search, mine took almost three years. At times, I 
thought it was stupid: Who was I to take on another name? Only mas- 
ters had inner names, I thought. But the idea continued to intrigue me; 
it continued to make sense. I was always carrying on an inner dialogue, 
like an implacable tennis player chastising himself over his obdurate 
body. Anyway, "we" didn't always agree. In fact, we disagreed most of 
the time, at least at first. The pleasure side, represented by the demands 
of my body, usually won out. I would park myself in front of the TV or 
indulge in a special delicacy. One half of me was happy, while the other 
half was disappointed. There was always a war raging. 

The physical side was clever to say the least, though its agenda was 
quite simple. It wanted pleasure and sought, at all cost, to avoid pain or 
anything that came close to it. Of course this simple formula was also 
the key to its management — a finding that Pavlov had amply demon- 
strated. I began to study its ways and how it would take over the appa- 
ratus of the mind. My inner self was always gentle, never screaming its 
wants, only suggesting, always gently. But my body was loud and 
demanding. It would flash pictures and feelings on the screen of my 
mind that would takeover whatever I was thinking or doing. If it 
wanted pizza, it demanded pizza.. 

Finally, I settled on a name for my inner self and held a small cere- 
mony at which I introduced me to me. The inner name I received was 
TANJI. It was a strange meeting, but it held great personal significance. 
In fact, I found that using TANJI as a mantra worked quite well in mov- 
ing me beyond the body consciousness. I had the feeling that someone 
was indeed "watching my back." I felt more at ease with surrender, 
which is an essential part of the unfolding to higher consciousness. I 
found it comforting to know that in all situations this higher self (I), 
was far more capable than my little self, ego (i), that is, the personality 
identified with my legal name. 

In time, I was more successful in resolving disputes between my 
competing impulses. Through regular inner dialogue, peace broke out. 
It was clear that my physical self was not equipped to lead — and "it" 
knew it. It went along with the inner direction as long as it wasn't too 
harsh. Clearly, there were at least two different parts of me that had to 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 387 

be reconciled. This was essential if I was ever to realize what I came 
into this life to accomplish — though that was not yet clear. In due 
course, I developed a deeper understanding of this complex vehicle I 
had been given for this incarnation. 

During my earliest years in Eckankar, when I first began speaking 
before audiences, I would write outlines for the talks. At that time, I 
didn't know about the higher self and felt the pangs of anxiety that most 
new speakers experience. I felt nervous and tense, depending on my 
notes — a characteristic of the little self. In time, I stopped preparing 
outwardly at all. I had read and reread the essential books. Certainly, 
some wisdom had seeped through during this lifetime. It was in there 
somewhere, I simply had to learn how to get at it — or was it letting the 
wisdom get to me? Besides, wasn't I suppose to be omniscient as soul? 
Why not let it do the work? These were the early hints that I could align 
myself with a higher force and rise above the trepidation associated 
with speaking. 

I allowed the topic to move through my consciousness. I developed 
a feeling about what I would say and an inner picture of the result or 
feeling I wanted to have after a talk. When time for the presentation 
arrived, I often walked onto the stage completely blank! It was quite 
thrilling, much as I imagine jumping out of an airplane would be. I 
enjoyed the feeling because it was truly living on the razor's edge. It 
required complete trust and surrender. I knew that the moment I began 
to speak, this higher self, now known to me by name, would take over. 
I simply had to learn to let go and get the "i" out of the way. 

The Physical and the Inner Bodies 

I learned through study and inner experiences that I had several 
distinct bodies, which pertained to the inner worlds I had explored. It 
should be pointed out before describing these bodies, that the esoteric 
student confronts a welter of confusion, countless terminologies, and 
disputes at every turn. This is not surprising, because we each perceive 
our experiences in different ways, and construct and decorate our inner 
landscape as we grow. Those who wish a simple answer to the compo- 
sition and structure of the inner worlds and our inner bodies will not 
find one. But don't be discouraged. There is sufficient agreement 


between various inner explorers and paths that we can still construct a 
useful road map. 

The theosophical writings of Blavatsky/ Steiner,^ Besant,^ Lead- 
beater, 1° and the cosmology of Radhasoami, can teach us much, but 
they can also sidetrack us. Here, I provide an amalgam of these per- 
spectives and what I have learned from both inner and outer explora- 
tion. It is not definitive, nor can it ever be. It is a useful road map, the 
details of which you must fill in as you explore on your own. In the 
future, a more expanded version of this cosmology will be presented, 
but this will suffice for now. It should also be noted that Paul Twitchell 
used some of these sources, especially theosophy and Radhasoami for 
structuring his own cosmology as well as other arcane information con- 
tained in the Shariyat-Ki-Sugmad — most notably his writings on the 
yugas,^^ the root races,!^ and the ancient civilizations. 

The Physical Body 

The physical plane and its corresponding body are well known. We 
must recognize them for what they are: an instrument for functioning in 
this dimension of reality. The physical body has an energizing aspect 
associated with the aura and centers of energy transformation com- 
monly called chankras. They aid in transmuting spiritual energy into a 
form that sustains the human body. 

The Etheric Body 

The theosophist's description of this body is more accurate, in my 
view, than other teachings that attribute this function to the astral or 
emotional body. Theosophy considers it the link between the physical 
body and the inner dimensions containing an equivalent for all func- 
tions and parts exhibited by the physical machine. This etheric form 
also connects the physical to the higher bodies in an unbroken contin- 
uum from the physical body to soul itself. We often think of these bod- 
ies as distinct, but they merge into one another, like the colors of a 
rainbow. Its parallel functions are so completely replicated in the phys- 
ical body that science has been able to formulate perfectly workable 
hypotheses for its operation without reference to this component. Only 
acupuncture and other eastern medical disciplines, which emphasize 
energy flows as a significant cause of illness, have paid meaningful 
attention to this unseen aspect of our physical bodies. The contributions 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 389 

of Barbara Brennani^ and Professor William Tilleri"^ are notable in 
their attempts to understand, measure or work with the effects of this 
energy on our physical bodies. 

Emotional Body 

Next is the emotional body, a separate but integrated part of each of 
us. It coincides with what is commonly termed the astral plane, the 
dimension where most of our dream experiences take place, and where 
we go at the transition called death. This "other" body is most com- 
monly called the astral body but by many other names in various reli- 
gions. ^^ Most commonly referred to as a "ghost" — a misnomer — it is 
simply another instrument used by soul in this dimension of the inner 
worlds. We all have one and use it all of the time. However, we can see 
it when soul exits the physical shell. It has a higher vibratory rate than 
the physical body, which is why (like most gases) we cannot normally 
see it. 

The astral body is quite different from our physical body. When the 
physical is dominant, as during eating or sex, the sensations and feel- 
ings are distinctly recognizable. When the emotional body is dominant, 
the feeling is quite different. We experience fear, anger, sadness, hurt, 
joy, happiness, love, and ecstasy, which overwhelm other feelings and 
impulses. If you have ever felt the pain of breaking up with someone, 
then you remember that bodily impulses didn't matter. Forces of the 
emotional body supplanted them. Similarly, anger can certainly spoil 
sexual urges of the physical body. Therefore, the emotional body can 
displace the impulses of the physical when attention is directed there. It 
can even overcome the instinct for physical survival, as when depres- 
sion brings suicidal thoughts. People whose personalities reflect a 
strong emotional bent are most influenced by this body. 

The Mental Body 

The mental body predominates in those who spend most of their 
time in thought. Each of us is quite different when either of these bod- 
ies controls the actions of the physical shell through the control center 
in the mind. A famous person "loses it" in public and shocks his audi- 
ence. What has happened? The person has allowed the emotional body 
in tandem with the physical body to predominate. His higher self was 
not in control. 


Each inner body is progressively higher in vibration and state of 
consciousness. Beyond the mind, there is the level of intuition associ- 
ated in some teachings with the intuitive body, considered a higher 
aspect of the mental body. This is a higher faculty, even though it is not 
held in such regard by a mind-oriented culture. 

The Soul and the Causal Body 

Beyond the level of mind and intuition, there is soul itself, which 
reflects omniscience, omnipresence, and omnipotence — the proper- 
ties of ALL THAT IS. When we function from this level, the more 
appropriate term to describe ourselves is God-soul, for then soul has 
the capacity to reflect ITS characteristics. The full array of bodies 
encircles — but is coterminous with — soul and permits it to function 
in the lower worlds. There is one other body, variously portrayed in 
descriptions of the inner vehicles of soul. This is the causal body. In 
some cosmological systems it is thought of as the third body in succes- 
sion of finer vibration. In others, it is considered an aspect of soul as 
distinct from a separate body having a corresponding plane. In either 
system, it is thought to maintain the record of all experiences, on all 
planes, in all lifetimes. This aspect of soul is essential because it is from 
this repository of experience that we draw guidance for everyday life. It 
is the only aspect that continues with soul from incarnation to incarna- 
tion. Thus, the terminology "aspect" — associated as a fine garment — 
is used to describe its connection to soul when it is thought of as other 
than a distinct body. Whether regarded as soul itself, an aspect of soul, 
or simply another body used by soul, its function is the same. It is 
dropped only when soul ventures into higher regions or levels of 
awareness where the need for bodies of lower vibration is no longer 

When soul reincarnates into a physical body, all other inner bodies 
are discarded, just as the physical shell is discarded at death. In time, all 
discarded inner bodies dissipate and return to the substance of the plane 
on which they functioned. When soul reincarnates into a new physical 
body, it develops new inner bodies to accompany it in its inner and 
outer life experiences. But the causal aspect, functioning as the data- 
bank linking lifetimes, accompanies soul into each incarnation. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 391 

Expanding the paradigm of who we are is essential to spiritual 
growth. A paradigm based only on the physical body offers little 
chance for soul awareness, much less soul-actualization. However, 
when we expand our paradigm, we understand ourselves better. More 
importantly, we can exercise control and discipline over a physical 
machine that will totally dominate our lives unless placed in its proper 
position vis-a-vis soul. 

Meditation and Contemplation 

We have already touched on the importance of meditation and con- 
templation. Some teachings maintain a difference. Meditation is often 
regarded as a passive technique, while contemplation is thought of as 
more active. Webster 's defines these terms as follows: 

Meditation: [T]he act of meditating: steady or close consecutive reflec- 
tion: continued application of the mind ... to keep the mind in a state of 
contemplation: dwell in thought: engage in studious reflection. 

Contemplation: a: meditation on spiritual things as a form of private 
devotion, b: a state of mystical awareness of God's being or presence: 
an ecstatic perception of God: a state of rapture ... in which the soul is 
freed from its senses and organs and lost in pure contemplation. . . . 

Obviously, these definitions are interrelated if not interchangeable. 
Both involve withdrawing attention from the physical shell to the 
ecstatic states or regions beyond the physical dimension. In practice, 
both techniques are essentially the same. Both contain an active and 
passive component. In the first stage, the practitioner remains passive, 
surrendering to an inner force or object of devotion. In the second 
stage, the practitioner shifts her awareness to an inner plane in full con- 
sciousness, and then decides, requests, or surrenders to whatever expe- 
rience is next. If the practitioner goes no further than the first stage, 
conscious awareness is often not maintained; the individual returns 
with a feeling but no specific recollection of an inner experience. She 
has transcended the physical, though not much more. This describes 
Transcendental Meditation (TM), which, though beneficial, does not 
approach the level of experience achieved once we have learned to 
remain conscious and actively participate in the experience. 

My first encounter with meditation was with TM, and it was bene- 
ficial. However, what I learned and practiced had nothing to do with the 


reverence I was asked to show to the picture of a bearded gum (Mahar- 
ishi Mahesh Yogi), a gift of flowers, and a mantra that only they, sup- 
posedly, could give me. I was later to learn and eventually teach more 
effective methods of meditation/contemplation. They had nothing to do 
with the rituals of TM, the main purposes of which, aside from sharing 
a valuable insight into inner experiences, was recruitment and fund- 

Active participation in meditation, contemplation or what some 
call spiritual exercises i*^ requires surrendering the type and place of 
experience to our higher self, an inner force, or inner guide. However, it 
still requires an active choice — the proactive part of the process. The 
actual practice of meditation/contemplation is quite simple and 
requires no costly course or purchase of a mantra. I have practiced and 
taught its techniques for more than thirty years. 

At times, I have been rewarded with brilliant transcendent experi- 
ences in worlds beyond description: oceans and beings of light coupled 
with the most glorious sounds imaginable. I have met beings from 
other dimensions of reality that talked to me, taught me, and otherwise 
interacted with the same clarity and realism I experience in waking life. 
If one was real, the other was as well — there was no difference. On the 
inner planes, we use a body that corresponds to the material substance 
of that plane. Hence, when we touch things, they feel as they do on the 
physical plane. Smell, color, and other sensations are considerably 
enhanced, especially on the astral plane. As we move higher, we seem 
to see and experience less, as form diminishes in importance. The expe- 
rience of pure love and pure energy is more descriptive of the encoun- 
ter, though awareness is not diminished. 

At other times, nothing happens. I sit for my thirty minutes to one 
hour and arise refreshed, nonetheless having had a transcendent experi- 
ence. The quality of my inner experience is related to the degree of my 
involvement in business or another outside activity. If I am engrossed 
in these pursuits and focus less on things spiritual, my inner experi- 
ences, both dream and meditation, reduce in intensity and frequency. 
This is not a necessary result, but if we allow problems or issues to stay 
with us during the evening and morning period, they will displace and 
drain the spiritual energy needed to transcend the physical. However, 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 393 

the moment I read something uplifting and allow my imagination and 
excitement to focus on inner experiences, I am transformed, and the 
inner experiences flow again. The number of techniques for meditating 
or performing these spiritual exercises runs in the hundreds, if not thou- 
sands. It is important, however, not to be a shopper, always looking for 
something bigger or better. Find those that work for you, but remember 
that what works may change over time. When this happens, you will 
know, because your higher self will direct you to new experiences and a 
new approach to continuing your inner journey. I will outline several 
basic techniques that will work if you are patient and persistent. First, 
let's look at the mantra. 

The Mantra 

The word mantra is composed of two Sanskrit words: man meaning 
mind or thinking, and tra meaning to release or free. Thus, by singing 
or chanting a mantra, we free the mind from the dross of material life 
and transcend the outer world and the cycle of birth and death. There 
are many who argue that the mantra is crucial and that there are certain 
sounds that are the basis of all other sounds. Let's look where human 
sounds come from. 

The letters and words of language evolved from the grunts and 
noises of our prehistoric forbears. Within each primitive group, certain 
grunts and sounds came to mean certain things. As groups consolidated 
into tribes and eventually nations, the predominant group imposed its 
set of sounds on others. From grunts and noises, modem language grew 
to express virtually every concept and thought the human mind can 

Eastern civilizations have developed a deeper and more profound 
understanding of higher consciousness concepts and practices than 
have western ones. Western societies are more concerned with the 
physical than the spiritual. The "spiritual" principles by which the West 
lives are articulated in the Ten Commandments, which deal with practi- 
cal matters of physical existence. On the other hand, the Upanishads 
and the Vedas deal with contacting the infinite and realizing God poten- 
tial. No wonder the language of the search for God is primarily eastern. 
To western ears, the sounds are strange, but when we remember they 
are noises that have come to represent thoughts and words, we demys- 


tify them. It is not the word, the letter, or the noise that is the quintes- 
sence of the mantra. Acceptance of what the sound means is equally 
important. Together, individual acceptance, the vibratory impact on the 
physical body, and the relaxing influence that repetition has on the 
mind, explain the full extent of the mantra's effect on us. 

The Nature of the Mantra as Sound 

When considering the mystique of the mantra, too much emphasis 
has been placed on the sound or word itself and too little on the inner 
process: the effect from focusing our attention on that sound. The HU 
as the source of all sounds is a concept that was initially articulated by 
Hazrat Inayat Khan in The Mysticism of Sound. This book has unfortu- 
nately taken on the quality of a sacred text, which it is not, but nonethe- 
less has much to recommend it. In the end, it reflects the bias and 
single-mindedness of an explorer of the inner regions who felt his 
experience was the final word in spiritual growth. This "my mantra is 
the pinnacle of all sounds" view might be intrinsic to inner experience 
itself. If we did not believe that our experience was the ultimate, then 
our belief would be diminished. Once a great master has uttered what 
appears to be truth, others pick it up and repeat it. In time, it becomes 
locked in outer reality as Law, and is never questioned. 

The proposition that the sound HU or AUM (CM) is the source of 
all sounds is absurd on its face because the advocates for each claim a 
position of preeminence that only one could hold. Each sound has a 
particular vibration and puts forth a particular sound wave pattern. 
Each sound emits a unique vibration, or frequency. In the physical 
realm, science has defined the physical characteristics of sound, how it 
is produced, and how it is perceived. Remembering that science repre- 
sents the discovered laws by which the infinite works in a particular 
dimension of reality (in this case, the physical), the claims of transcen- 
dence for the HU or AUM/OM have dealt primarily with their physical 
manifestations. Thus, both the HU and the AUM/OM have been 
described as the sound behind all sounds and the Word made flesh. 
Aside from the competing boasts of both mantras, there are common- 
sense problems with either assertion. To suggest that a particular sound 
with a distinct frequency and wavelength contains all other frequencies 
and wavelengths in the universe is to postulate a principle that does not 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 395 

stand the test of common sense, much less that of science. Even if true, 
who is to say that every sound does not also contain all other sounds of 
the universe? 

Sound, science tells us, is produced through vibration. Whether 
through vocal cords or a reed in a wind instrument, it is all a function of 
vibration. The movement of the resulting vibration to our ears is per- 
ceived as sound. Sound is defined by four measures: frequency (pitch), 
wavelength, intensity (loudness), and quality (timbre). Each aspect 
helps us to understand the nature of the HU and the AUM/OM, and 
how they are not unlike other sounds or mantras. 

One of the elements that helps us to understand sound is frequency, 
which is the pitch or note, commonly measured by a unit called a hertz. 
The more an object vibrates (e.g., our vocal cords), the greater the fre- 
quency, or pitch. Thus, whether we are chanting the HU the AUM/OM 
or some other mantra, the frequency of the sound is a far more impor- 
tant measure of content than the choice of guttural utterance. Different 
pitches have a distinctly different impact on the physical and the inner 
bodies. The deep sound and bitonality of Tibetan monks illustrate a 
choice of one frequency (or set) over another. This is also illustrated in 
the use of various instruments to aid in experiencing inner sounds. The 
use by the Sufis and others of the double flute, bells and gongs, horns, 
conch shells, and other devices are all designed to carry the individual 
into the inner planes. Today, these traditional methods are being sup- 
planted by the use of binaural brain entrainment recordings, which 
move the vibration of the brainwave patterns to levels that approximate 
those achieved in deep states of meditation. This is a study in itself, but 
suffice it to say, research on the impact of different frequencies on our 
outer and inner bodies is well worth the time. It can greatly enhance our 
potential to experience inner dimensions of reality. 

Another quality of a mantra, related to frequency, is wavelength. 
Just as frequency is the number of waves that pass a given point per 
minute, the wavelength is the distance between any point on one of the 
waves and a corresponding point on the next wave. Thus, as the pitch/ 
frequency gets higher, the number of waves passing a point increases, 
and the distance between each wave is shorter. As the note gets lower, 
the inverse is true. 


In spite of our scientific advances, we perceive an infinitesimally 
small range of the sound all about us. This point can be easily illus- 
trated if we consider the sounds we hear during the dream state or dur- 
ing an inner experience. I have heard great symphonic scores, 
unrecognizable sounds, lyrical songs, and countless others through the 
inner faculty of hearing we all possess but rarely develop or use. I per- 
ceive these experiences as sound and can return to the physical to write 
them down and hear them at a frequency that is audible to my physical 

But what was I hearing on these inner planes? If I had a tape 
recorder on during these inner experiences, why didn't the sounds get 
recorded? The range of sound perception of the tape recorder is at least 
as great as my ear, yet they cannot be heard on tape. The reason is that 
these sounds were heard at octave intervals that reached a different 
dimension of reality. What is fascinating about this phenomenon is that 
my inner perception of these sounds and melodies has outer equiva- 
lents. This suggests that inner sound is nothing more than the same note 
that we can hear occurring at a frequency or pitch well beyond the 
capability of any physical measuring devices. But these sounds do 
exist. Ask any musician that is inwardly attuned and she will humbly 
admit that many if not all of her compositions were first heard in these 
inner regions with inner faculties. 

Loudness and timbre are two other components of sound in the 
physical dimension. These sound components impact the effectiveness 
of the mantras that we chant. Whatever sound we choose, its loudness 
and quality make up part of our "chanting strategy." For example, with 
respect to loudness, we might start out chanting a mantra loudly and 
progress to softness and then outer silence. At the same time, we might 
vary the timbre from the nasal to a deep diaphragm sound. These same 
qualities are perceived and exist at each succeeding dimension of real- 
ity. They exist at different frequencies and vibration levels, just as all 
that we perceive in the physical is itself distinguished by the different 
frequencies at which they exist. 

Mantras that are unique and best suited to the individual increase 
the capacity for meditation. Often they link with the same sound in 
another dimension of reality that vibrates at a related, but substantially 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 397 

higher frequency (octave). When this occurs, the vibration of the note 
we control through the singing of our mantra causes the same note at a 
higher octave to vibrate (as do tuning forks affected by the vibration of 
a similar note). This process opens an inner doorway through which 
consciousness can move into a higher dimension of the inner reality. 
This is the essence of the mantra: the vibration of the note is far more 
important than the word. 

So, to get back to our HU or the AUM/OM sounds, we see that fre- 
quency, wavelength, intensity, and timbre are the important compo- 
nents, not anything intrinsic to H-U or A-U-M/0-M. Beyond the sound 
selected, the most important factor in the use of these sounds/mantras is 
our capacity to focus attention on a single point, idea, or sound long 
enough for consciousness to shift from the physical universe to the 
inner realms. 

Any mantra can contact the infinite and change the course of our 
lives. Those who make a fetish of secret words and mantras in their 
spiritual teachings mislead the seeker by implying, if not teaching as 
dogma, that a master or path has a secret only it can dispense. As we 
have seen, each of us has the ability to contact the infinite. We come 
into this life fully equipped to complete our journey home. Such teach- 
ers unscrupulously use their "special knowledge" of mantras to trap 
sincere souls seeking truth. They are lurking everywhere. 

Technique One: Basic Meditation/Contemplation Technique 

Let's turn now to basic meditation techniques. We need to find 
what works best for each of us. Start with these suggestions, then let 
your inner self make the adjustments. It is j^owr journey. If you set your 
goal on leaving the body consciousness and traveling into the inner 
worlds, your inner self in tandem with spirit will unerringly lead you 
there. Learn to follow your higher self; it will always be with you — it 
is you. 

Sit comfortably in a chair and position your hands interlaced or lay- 
ing one in the other. Place your feet flat on the floor or crossed, which- 
ever is more comfortable. Relaxation and comfort are important. Keep 
your back erect enough to prevent falling asleep but not enough to 
cause discomfort, which will only draw your attention back to your 
body. I have often tried sitting up in bed, under a blanket, but alert. This 


can be done, but it is more difficult because you might fall back to 
sleep, especially if attempted in the early morning. Take several deep 
breaths to relax. Imagine that you are inhaling pure spirit and exhaling 
all worries, anxieties, doubts, and fears. Negative thoughts during med- 
itation/contemplation will only add energy to them. If there is a prob- 
lem that you can't shake, you can rid yourself of it by displacement or 
replacement. Remember, you cannot rid yourself of a thought by nega- 
tion: try to stop thinking about a green and purple elephant! Instead, 
think about love or happiness and repeat these words rapidly. In short 
order, you will replace negative feelings and prepare yourself for the 
adventure ahead. 

Once ready for the inner adventure, focus your attention gently and 
lovingly at a point between the eyes, the same place where you see an 
object when imagining it. During my early experimentation, I did this 
as if I were following a recipe. I was never sure whether I was getting it 
right or not. Don't waste your time on minutiae! Ask your higher self if 
you have it right. Always rely on inner direction to fine-tune steps on 
your inner journey. 

Let's take a second to explore this inner screen, the point where 
imagination and visualization take place. This will help you gain confi- 
dence that you are doing it correctly. Imagine, for a moment, your bed- 
room. Do this with your eyes open. You can probably see it quite easily. 
Take note of your viewpoint. It will likely be at an angle, usually up, 
from where your normal vision focuses. You will be looking through 
your eyes but not seeing anything: your attention will be on the picture 
in your imagination. This is your eye of imagination, your spiritual eye. 

Try this same experiment with your eyes closed. Most people have 
greater difficulty. Strangely, we see through the eye of imagination bet- 
ter with our eyes open than closed. But if you practice, you will see just 
as well with your eyes closed. In any event, you no longer have to spec- 
ulate about where your eye of imagination is, and you can go to the 
next step confidently. I may have just saved you two years of specula- 
tion, but then I was a slow learner! 

At this point, you may want to chant a mantra to reduce the mind's 
tendency to jump from thought to thought. Let's look more closely at 
this. The effect of repeated sounds on the mind is similar to hypnosis. 

The Spiritual Practice of Higher Consciousness 399 

Hypnosis works because the subject translates a suggestion into words 
that come from himself: "you will wake up" becomes "I will wake up." 
The same principle is at work in self-hypnosis, except that we give our- 
selves the suggestion. 

Several things are at work here, especially in self-hypnosis, which 
parallels but is somewhat different from what occurs in meditation 
when using a mantra. First, in hypnosis our directions are verbal cues 
that the body follows. The practitioner tells himself he is becoming 
relaxed and his eyes are heavy and can no longer be held open. In med- 
itation, the person consciously relaxes every part of the body. The 
essential point in meditation is to calm the jumping of the mind by sug- 
gestions to calm and relax which is often accompanied by taking sev- 
eral breaths that also help in the process. 

A second facet of meditation is the repetition of a mantra that has 
the effect of further calming the mind or "boring" it into quiescence. 
The mind loves repetition and takes to it quickly. Play with children 
amply demonstrates this principle. If a game is played in which the 
child is patted on her head two times, spun three times, and says "wosh, 
wosh, wosh," she will remember the exact sequence of actions and 
words. If a pat or turn or "wosh" is missed the next time, she quickly 
tells us. The mind loves grooves and repetition. They keep it busy so 
that we can do more important things. 

The mantra gives the mind something to focus on while we shift to 
the spiritual eye and observe what is taking place there. Many forms of 
meditation also employ the device of following di pattern of chanting, 
which may, for example, involve five chants followed by five breaths, 
then repeating the sequence perhaps five times. Our mind is then busy 
not only chanting but also auditing our performance to ensure we get it 
right. This activity distracts and occupies the mind until, in time, it set- 
tles down, or gets bored, and we can shift our attention into the inner 

A third facet of the mantra, which we have previously touched on, 
involves the word itself. In my experience, all words and sounds are 
equally effective, though some are more suitable to one person than 
another. The first two principles are much more important than the par- 
ticular word or sound. Some religions and paths would have us believe 


that the magic and power lie in the word itself. We have seen that sound 
vibration can have a salutary effect on a person, and that vibration and 
sound are integral parts of what and who we are. Neither of these is as 
important as the individual's focus of attention. If it were otherwise, 
everyone would have his own magic word, and we would have far less 
work and worry to contend with in life. Alas, it is not so. 

Still, the word or sound we choose can be helpful. Some of the 
sounds, mantras, or words that I have found to be very effective are: 

HU — In Sufism, from which the word is derived in its current incarna- 
tion, Hu is considered the divine pronoun and literally means HE. The 
word is sung or chanted as "WHO" or "Hooooooo" by its originators. 
Chanting it as "Hugh" (an adaptation of Eckankar) works just as well if 
that is your preference. 

AUM, OM — Om and Aum are variations of each other. The Om is 
considered by many eastern religions to be the WORD referred to in the 
Bible. It is used in Hinduism (Yoga), Sikhism, and Lamaism (Tibetan 

Rrr — Thought to have masculine connotation signifying control, 
leadership, etc. There are "many different language renditions of father, 
pater, fater, pere, padre as well as ruler, rex, royal. ..."^^ 

A or AH — Thought to be universally representative of the sound of 
energy. A mantra utilized in Tibetan Buddhism. 

M or MM — Thought to be associated with the feminine nurturing 
principle as in mother, mutter, madre, maman, mater, etc. ^ ^ 

RA, MA, RAMA — Variations and combinations of the basic sounds 
outlined above and can be used as mantras evoking the masculine, femi- 
nine, and energy principles all together. 

MEH — Part of the traditional chant for many spiritual paths. Makes 
up the traditional "Jewel in the Lotus" mantra used in Tibetan Buddhism 
(Om MAH-nee PEH-meh Hung). This mantra also contains other basic 
sounds, each of which can be used as a single sound mantra or in combi- 

HUM — Mantra used in many religions sung as "HuuuuuuM." 

Nam-myoho-renge-kyo ("salutation to the Lotus Sutra") — Chant 
used in Nichiren Daishonin Buddhism, or Japanese Buddhism. Those 
who use this mantra are saying that they will devote themselves to the 
ultimate truth of life (the law) and base themselves upon the wisdom 
(Buddha-hood) they thereby tap. The power of the chant is associated 
with the